WHAT: Oral arguments in Dream Defenders v. DeSantis, the case challenging the constitutionality of Florida's anti-protest legislation, are set to take place on Thursday, March 17. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals will consider Governor DeSantis and Sheriff Williams’s appeal of the preliminary injunction, which was granted in favor of Plaintiffs in this case last year and enjoins the enforcement of the riot provision of the legislation known as House Bill 1 or H.B.1.
H.B. 1 is designed to chill Floridians’ First Amendment right to free speech and peaceful assembly. The law targets Black protestors who demand racial justice and has already slowed protest activity among Black organizers in Florida. H.B. 1 was passed in direct response to national protests demanding justice for the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and a reimagining of public safety.
In May 2021, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, ACLU of Florida, Community Justice Project, and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Black-led organizations The Black Collective, Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward, Chainless Change, Dream Defenders, the Florida State Conference of the NAACP, and the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville. The groups allege that H.B. 1 violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution by chilling protected speech and criminalizing protest activity, all in service of suppressing the voices of Black-led organizations. Press is welcome to attend the in-person hearing before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals – livestream will not be provided.
WHEN: March 17, 2022, at 9:00 A.M. E.T.
WHERE: Elbert P. Tuttle Courthouse, Courtroom 339, 56 Forsyth Street, N.W., Atlanta, GA 30303
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
The ACLU of Florida is freedom's watchdog, working daily in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend individual rights and personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For additional information, visit our web site at: www.aclufl.org
Community Justice Project supports grassroots organizing for power, racial justice and human rights with innovative lawyering, research, creative strategy tools and the arts. Based in Miami, FL, Community Justice Project is deeply and unapologetically committed to Black and brown communities throughout Florida.