Judge rules against ACLU requesting to block Florida Chinese land ownership law

The ACLU said it plans to appeal the decision in court. 

Published: August 18, 2023 8:59am

Updated: August 18, 2023 9:46am

A federal judge ruled not to block the new Florida law that restricts Chinese nationals and some nationals from other countries from purchasing land in the state

U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor on Thursday denied an injunction requested by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which was representing four Chinese citizens and a real estate firm that wanted the law overturned. 

“It does not facially discriminate against non-citizens based on race or ancestry. It does not discriminate against non-citizens based on ‘the particular country in which one was born,’” Winsor wrote in his decision. “So contrary to plaintiffs’ arguments, the challenged law is facially neutral as to race and national origin.”

Earlier this year, Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida legislature passed SB264, which restricts foreign entities such as members of the Chinese Communist Party from purchasing land in Florida. 

The ACLU said it plans to appeal the decision in court. 

“While today’s decision is disheartening, our clients will continue to fight for their rights to equality and fairness on appeal,” said senior staff attorney at ACLU’s National Security Project Ashley Gorski. “Florida’s law legitimizes and expands housing discrimination, in violation of both the Constitution and the Fair Housing Act.”

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