Judge halts DeSantis' WOKE Act at universities, calling professors 'priests of democracy'

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On Thursday, a federal judge in Florida granted an injunction on Governor Ron DeSantis’ “Stop WOKE Act” which halted the implementation of the law within public universities in the state. 

According to local news, Chief US District Judge Mark Walker granted the motion filed by University of South Florida Professor Adriana Novoa and student Sam Rechek. Novoa said in a statement, “It is a happy day not only for Sam and me, but for the institutions of this country. I hope that the courts will defend the existence of a public education that cannot be manipulated by politicians to push any ideology, now and in the future.”

The law, HB 7 or “Individual Freedom,” which went into effect at the beginning of July, prevents employers from requiring training that claims that members of one race are inherently racist and should feel guilt for the actions of their ancestors and that a person can be privileged or oppressed based on their skin color or gender, on top of other topics.

When the legislative proposal was announced, the statement read “Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees (W.O.K.E.) Act” is designed to “give businesses, employees, children and families tools to fight back against woke indoctrination” and critical race theory, a form of racial essentialism that defines individuals by their racial and ethnic identity groups and then assigns them a place within structures and hierarchies of power. 

Student Rechek and Professor Novoa claimed the law was equal to censorship from the government and were represented by the organization FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression.)

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