A three-judge appeals court panel, including two Donald Trump appointees, unanimously voted on Monday to block the implementation of Florida’s “Stop WOKE Act.”

Officially known as the “Individual Freedom Act,” but more commonly referred to as the “Stop WOKE (Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees) Act,” the bill was passed by the Florida state legislature and signed into law by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. It is designed to block certain teachings about race and diversity in schools and workplaces, particularly any notions that individuals might be privileged or face oppression due to race, sex, or national origin, which DeSantis has decried as “woke indoctrination.”

While the governor and other Republican lawmakers have claimed that the bill is meant to combat “indoctrination,” critics have accused it of attempting to whitewash history and argued that it violates the First Amendment. In August 2022, Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker of Tallahassee concurred with the latter argument in relation to the workplace portion of the bill, placing a preliminary injunction against its implementation.

In a unanimous ruling on Monday, three judges with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Walker’s ruling, finding that the law violated the First Amendment rights of business owners.

stop woke act trump judges
Above, a photo of Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis at a political event in Sunrise, Florida, on November 26, 2019. A key part of DeSantis’s Stop WOKE Act was struck down by an appeals court…

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“This is not the first era in which Americans have held widely divergent views on important areas of morality, ethics, law and public policy,” the 22-page opinion from the panel explained. “And it is not the first time that these disagreements have seemed so important, and their airing so dangerous, that something had to be done. But now, as before, the First Amendment keeps the government from putting its thumb on the scale.”

The panel consisted of judges Charles R. Wilson, Andrew L. Brasher, and Britt Grant, the latter two having been appointed to the court by former President Donald Trump in 2020 and 2018, respectively. Wilson was appointed by former President Bill Clinton in 1999.

Newsweek reached out to DeSantis’s office via email for comment on Monday evening. Any responses received will be added to this story in a later update.

While the contents of the Stop WOKE Act are generally accepted among conservative lawmakers, DeSantis, who made the bill a key aspect of his political agenda, has also recently been considered a major rival to former President Trump due to his campaign for the 2024 presidential nomination. While he was initially viewed as a rising star in the party, DeSantis’s campaign failed to gain traction against Trump’s continued popularity and his own perceived shortcomings, leading him to drop out shortly after a distant second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.