Federal Court Argument on Florida Officials’ Unconstitutional Order to Deactivate Palestinian Rights Student Group

University of Florida’s Students for Justice in Palestine is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Florida, and Palestine Legal

Affiliate: ACLU of Florida
January 23, 2024 9:00 am

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WHAT: On January 26, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida will hear arguments in Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Florida v. Rodrigues, a lawsuit challenging the Chancellor of the State University System of Florida’s order to state universities to deactivate chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).

The lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction to block the deactivation order from going into effect, arguing that Chancellor Ray Rodrigues and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to effectively punish the University of Florida chapter of SJP for its association with a national group is a clear violation of the student group’s constitutional rights to free speech and association.

Following the argument, members of the plaintiff’s legal team will be available for comment.

WHO: Brian Hauss, senior staff attorney with ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, will be in court arguing that the deactivation order violates UF SJP’s First Amendment freedoms by censoring its speech and association, and also runs afoul of the First Amendment’s protection against viewpoint-based restrictions on speech and association.

Also available on-the-ground to speak are Hina Shamsi, director of ACLU National Security Project, Howard Simon, interim executive director of ACLU of Florida, and Radhika Sanath of Palestine Legal.

WHEN: Friday, January 26 at 9:00am ET

WHERE: Joseph Woodrow Hatchett U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building (111 N. Adams St, Courtroom 5 West), Tallahassee, Florida

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