A pro-Palestinian student organization at the University of Florida sued state officials Thursday in federal court over what it described as an illegal order by the DeSantis administration to shut it down.
In a related legal maneuver, the group separately asked a judge to immediately block the state’s efforts to shut down the chapter.
“The right of students to associate and speak through college organizations is a fundamental precursor to their political and ideological expression,” said the lawsuit by the Students for Justice in Palestine.
The lawsuit named as defendants the chancellor of the State University System, Ray Rodrigues; Gov. Ron DeSantis; UF President Ben Sasse; members of the Florida Board of Governors and the UF Board of Trustees.
The university referred inquiries about the lawsuit to the Board of Governors in Tallahassee. Officials there did not immediately respond to messages. “Groups that claim to be part of a foreign terrorist movement have no place on our university campuses,” DeSantis’ spokesperson, Jeremy Redfern, said in a statement in response to the lawsuit.
The student group’s lawsuit was supported by the ACLU of Florida and another civil rights group, Palestine Legal. The lawsuit sought a ban on the government’s order to deactivate