Florida professors, student ask judge to force state compliance of Stop WOKE pause

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – While a federal judge has, temporarily, blocked Florida’s STOP WOKE Act on college campuses in an order related to a case brought by a professor at the University of South Florida, a concurrent case opposing the law also went in a different direction.

The lawsuit, brought by Leroy Purnell, former dean of Florida A&M University and current professor at the university’s College of Law, now asks US Chief Justice Mark Walker to compel Florida to comply with a preliminary injunction signed in November.

On January 4th, Brian GriffinThe governor’s press secretary posted a copy of a memo asking institutions to “report expenditures and resources used for campus activities related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and important race principles” and to people on Twitter. But was asked to “keep”.

Purnell and his co-plaintiffs allege that Florida’s move to submit reports on initiatives to help its colleges and universities maintain a diversity, equity, inclusion and critical race principles program and to “have a full understanding of the operating expenses of state institutions” violates the injunction.

According to plaintiffs’ filing and attached exhibits, “the purpose behind the executive memorandum’s directive to collect information on trainers’ activities is clearly to enforce the unconstitutional provisions of the Stop Woke Act.”

Purnell and his co-plaintiffs state in the filing that because of the reference to Florida Statute 1000.05 and the multiple mentions of “the approach targeted by the Stop Woke Act”, the state of Florida and the Department of Education are in violation of a court order not to enforce the law. are doing. campuses, as well as promises to withdraw or withhold funding from institutions based on reports.

As a result, the plaintiffs filed a motion that the court grant a preliminary injunction, blocking reports on programs and initiatives at Florida’s colleges and universities until the challenges to the law are concluded.

In the included exhibits, attorneys for Purnell and his co-plaintiffs provided copies of a December 28, 2022 memo from the Department of Education regarding survey activity, as well as preliminary injunctions and sent to state officials regarding defendants’ alleged allegations Email also provided. steps in violation of order

In communications with attorneys for the plaintiffs, attorneys for the Florida Board of Governors and other state officials named as defendants said they “see no basis for any claim that the governor’s requests for information from colleges and universities compliance” does not comply with Judge Walker’s order. Instead, they sought an explanation of why they believe the activity surveys are in violation, promising to abide by the order as long as it remains in effect.

Correspondence between attorneys for both sides in the exhibits filed continued through January 9, with a motion for mandatory compliance coming on Wednesday, January 11.

Aside from the new DEI and CRT survey opposed by Pernell, Florida’s colleges and universities are already sending and receiving bills promoting intellectual freedom on campus. The independence polls were passed as part of the 2021 legislation and signed by DeSantis in June 2021.

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