A federal judge in Florida has blocked part of the state’s “Stop WOKE Act,” a law that restricts how companies and schools discuss race.
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law in April. The bill, House Bill 7, would limit race-based teachings in schools and regulate how private companies handle mandatory diversity, equity and inclusion training, Business Insider reports.
Under House Bill 7, companies with 15 or more employees could face civil lawsuits if they violate the law.
But this week, Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker suspended the employer part of the law, saying it violated free speech.
“In the popular television series ‘Stranger Things,’ the ‘upside down’ describes a parallel dimension containing a distorted version of our world,” Walker, a nominee of then-President Barack Obama, wrote in his opinion. “Recently, Florida has seemed like a First Amendment upside down.
“Normally, the First Amendment bars the state from burdening speech, while private actors may…