A federal judge has blocked Florida’s new drag show law, ruling the state’s effort to bar children from attending “adult live performances,” is overly vague and likely unconstitutional.
The case was brought by Hamburger Mary’s, the restaurant chain that features drag performers as part of its business.
NEW: Florida is barred from enforcing its new anti-drag law (SB 1438), a federal judge ruled Friday.
Read more at Law Dork on the preliminary injunction that Hamburger Mary's secured today against the law: https://t.co/IwjTd5iwsn
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) June 23, 2023
From award-winning legal journalist Chris Geidner at Law Dork:
It the course of his order, US District Judge Gregory Presnell at one point concluded that the law’s restrictions on and definitions of “adult live performance” — codified as § 827.11 — are “dangerously susceptible to standardless, overbroad enforcement which could sweep up substantial protected speech.”
While the state claimed the law aims to “protect children” by banning children from covered performances, Presnell cut through that claim quickly and throughout his 24-page opinion. From the opening paragraph, Presnell, an 80-year-old Clinton appointee, called out the state of Florida’s actions as actually being an attempt “to suppress the speech of drag queen performers.”
He also noted that the Florida law has “apparent universal application … to anyone, anywhere,” including — “conceivably” — “a skit at a backyard family barbecue.”
Presnell also noted the lack of any parental consent exceptions writing that the law “does not allow for the exercise of parental discretion.” Currently, state law guarantee the rights of parents to make decisions in the best interests of their children.
Courts are putting a stop on the anti-#LGBTQ laws pushed by @GovRonDeSantis and @TheFLGOP. This is what happens when fascist authoritarians believe they can ignore the U.S. Constitution. Thankfully, some checks and balances still exist. https://t.co/Eaf9yBzapy
— Tim Massie (@tcmassie) June 23, 2023
We really keep winning y’all. 🌈https://t.co/bd72KvHOCm
— Justice Horn (@JusticeHorn_) June 23, 2023