Federal Judge David Walker in Florida blocked the part of Governor DeSantis’s WOKE Act that prevents private employers from teaching their employees about equity, diversity and inclusion, saying it violates First Amendment protections. The ACLU is also suing to protect the rights of educators.

The Hill reports:

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida Chief Judge Mark Walker issued a preliminary injunction blocking the private employer provisions in the law, known as the “Stop WOKE Act,” saying it violates free speech protections under the First Amendment and that it violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause for being impermissibly vague.

“Recently, Florida has seemed like a First Amendment upside down,” Walker wrote in the ruling, comparing the law to the fictional “upside down” in the Netflix series “Stranger Things.”

“Normally, the First Amendment bars the state from burdening speech, while private actors may burden speech freely,” the Obama-appointed judge continued. “But in Florida, the First Amendment apparently bars private actors from burdening speech, while the state may burden speech freely.”

DeSantis’s office said it will appeal the decision.

“Judge Walker has effectively ruled that companies have a First Amendment right to instruct their employees in white supremacy,” said Taryn Feske, DeSantis’s communications director. “We disagree and will be appealing his decision.”

The law prevents workplaces from requiring employees to attend any activity that violates any of eight concepts, like instilling that someone bears “personal responsibility” for historic wrongdoings because of their race, color, sex or national origin.

DeSantis believes that teaching against racism means teaching white supremacy, which makes no sense at all.

The Deseret News has addditional details.

Using the acronym WOKE for Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees, the law was designed to combat “woke indoctrination” in Florida businesses and schools by prohibiting instruction that could make some people feel they bear “personal responsibility” for historic wrongdoings because of their race, sex or national origin, according to The New York Times.

The law, championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, prohibits employers in Florida from forcing workers to attend diversity training that would make them feel uncomfortable or guilty about their race because of historical events. It also bans any talk of advantages or disadvantages based on race….

What a constitutional scholar says:“Constitutional scholars like myself warned Florida that this had so many constitutional problems, even in drafting,” Stetson University law professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy told ABC Action News in Florida. “Under the First Amendment, the government doesn’t get to tell us what to think and this was couched in language that sounds as if it was about individual choice but it actually stops people from saying and learning certain concepts.

Torres-Spelliscy said she hopes the ruling discourages the governor and future governors from enacting “thought-control laws” the way DeSantis has.