For Immediate Release, September 9, 2021
Jaclyn Lopez, (727) 490-9190, firstname.lastname@example.org
Federal Judge Blocks New Florida Law That Would Strip First Amendment Rights of Protesters
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— A federal judge blocked a new Florida law today that sought to dramatically curtail free speech and the right to assembly and slash legal protections for protesters.
U.S. District Judge Mark Walker ruled that the measure is unconstitutional. “Its vagueness permits those in power to weaponize its enforcement against any group who wishes to express any message that the government disapproves of,” he wrote.
“This decision lifts a massive weight off the shoulders of Floridians who stand united against government oppression,” said Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s a relief to see this law shut down so decisively thanks to the quick work of amazing advocates representing the Dream Defenders and the other plaintiffs.”
Florida Senate Bill 484, filed by newly elected Sen. Danny Burgess (R-Tampa), and its companion bill, House Bill 1, filed by Rep. Juan Fernandez-Barquin (R-Miami), were proposed in January in response to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ call for lawmakers to limit protesters’ First Amendment rights to speech and assembly in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests.
The law, which was enjoined by Walker today, would:
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.