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Supreme Court allows temporary block of Florida’s Protection of Children Act

Protesters demonstrating outside Florida House chambers, April 2023 Associated Press/Photo by Brendan Farrington

Supreme Court allows temporary block of Florida’s Protection of Children Act

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday sided with a lower court’s temporary block preventing Florida from enforcing a state law that protects children from attending drag shows. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis enacted the Protection of Children Act earlier this year, legally barring children from admittance to “adult live performances” with sexual or lewd behavior. A federal judge temporarily blocked the law’s statewide enforcement in June after a local business challenged it, arguing it infringed on the First Amendment rights of Florida residents. The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that the temporary injunction may stand.

How did justices explain their ruling? Florida petitioned the Supreme Court to rule the district’s temporary block only applied to the one business filing the lawsuit—not all businesses across the state. Three conservative judges said they would have granted Florida’s request. However, Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in a separate opinion, joined by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, that the heart of the issue was whether an order filed by a district court for a single case may be applied to entities outside the litigation. Because Florida did not ask the Supreme Court to rule on that specific issue, Kavanagh and Barrett joined other justices in declining the state’s request.

Dig deeper: Read Steve West’s report on Montana blocking a law to protect children from obscene public performances.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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