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ACLU sues Florida over the banning of pro-Palestinian student groups

A spokesperson for DeSantis has argued that the governor does have a right to disband the groups. 

Published: November 17, 2023 9:18am

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenged Florida's ban on pro-Palestinian groups on college campuses.

The lawsuit filed Thursday argues the ban is a violation of students' First Amendment rights.

“If Florida officials think silencing pro-Palestinian students protects the Jewish community — or anyone, they’re wrong. This attack on free speech is dangerous,” Howard Simon, interim executive director of ACLU of Florida, said in a statement, according to NBC News.

Earlier this year, Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state's university system ordered a shut down of the group "Students for Justice for Palestine," following the eruption of pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses after the Hamas attack on Israel in October. 

A spokesperson for DeSantis has argued that the governor has a right to disband the groups. 

“Groups that claim to be part of a foreign terrorist movement have no place on our university campuses, spokesperson Jeremy Redfern said, according to NBC News. 

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the University of Florida’s SJP chapter and seeks to have a preliminary injunction in response to the state's order that the group can't get funding from the school or use its facilities. 

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