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Judge Blocks Florida’s ‘Anti-Riot’ Law, Says it Violates First Amendment Rights

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A federal judge on Thursday temporarily blocked Florida’s new “anti-riot” law championed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, saying that it violates First Amendment rights. U.S. District Judge Mark Walker on Thursday did not rule the entire statute likely violated the U.S. Constitution, but found that the state legislature’s new definition of the word “riot” was too vague and confusing to satisfy free-speech rights guaranteed under the First Amendment. “If this court does not enjoin the statute’s enforcement, the lawless actions of a few rogue individuals could effectively criminalize the protected speech of hundreds, if not thousands, of law-abiding Floridians,” the Obama-appointed judge wrote in a 90 page ruling that included a three-page history of the civil rights movement in Florida dating back to 1956.. The so-called anti-riot measure, known as HB1, was signed into law by DeSantis on April 19. The Republican governor said at the time that it’s “the …

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