Florida Judge Rejects ACLU's Bid to Halt Implementation of Chinese Land Ownership Law

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A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by four Chinese citizens and a real-estate firm seeking to block a new Florida law that restri...

Rachael Wiley

Rachael Wiley

17 August 2023 4:47 pm

Florida Judge Rejects ACLU's Bid to Halt Implementation of Chinese Land Ownership Law

A federal judge dismisses lawsuit challenging Florida law restricting property ownership

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by four Chinese citizens and a real-estate firm seeking to block a new Florida law that restricts Chinese nationals and citizens of certain other countries from buying property in the state. The judge rejected the injunction requested by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), stating that the plaintiffs failed to prove that the law discriminates based on national origin and race rather than citizenship.

Judge's decision supports state's authority to deny non-citizens land ownership

In a recent decision, a judge appointed by former President Donald Trump, Judge Winsor, stated that according to previous U.S. Supreme Court cases, states have the authority to deny non-citizens the right to own land within their borders, as long as there is a valid and reasonable basis for doing so. The decision was made in a 51-page document.

Florida law considered neutral in terms of race and national origin

The content provided states that a law being challenged does not discriminate against noncitizens based on race or ancestry. It also does not discriminate based on the country of birth. The law is considered to be neutral in terms of race and national origin, according to a Supreme Court precedent.

Florida's new law aims to protect agricultural and national security interests

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the state legislature have implemented a new law, SB 264, aimed at limiting the purchase of farmland in Florida and land near military bases and critical infrastructure by foreign entities or their affiliates, particularly those associated with the Chinese Communist Party. The law came into effect on July 1 and is seen as a move to protect the state's agricultural and national security interests.

Legislation introduced to safeguard national and state security

Lawmakers in Florida have introduced legislation aimed at protecting the state from what they perceive as a growing threat from the Chinese government. The proposed law would impose severe criminal penalties on Chinese nationals, while also implementing less restrictive rules for immigrants from countries such as Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Syria. The legislation is seen as an effort to safeguard national and state security from potential subversion by the Chinese government.

ACLU files lawsuit against Florida, claiming law is unconstitutional

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the state of Florida after Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new law. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of four Chinese nationals residing in Florida and the law firm Quinn Emanuel. The ACLU argues that the law is unconstitutional and violates equal protection rights and the Fair Housing Act.

Law firm argues for equal participation in housing market

The law firm Quinn Emanuel has argued that people from China should be allowed to participate in the housing market in Florida on equal terms with everyone else. The U.S. Government has supported this view as well.

ACLU plans to appeal decision, citing housing discrimination

The ACLU plans to appeal a recent decision in Florida that they believe legitimizes and expands housing discrimination. Ashley Gorski, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU's National Security Project, expressed disappointment in the decision and stated that their clients will continue to fight for their rights to equality and fairness. Gorski argues that Florida's law violates both the Constitution and the Fair Housing Act.

Biden administration supports lawsuit challenging Florida law

The Biden administration has expressed support for a lawsuit challenging a new law that they believe violates federal law and the U.S. Constitution. The law in question is said to harm individuals based on their national origin, go against civil rights laws, undermine constitutional rights, and not achieve its intended goal of improving public safety. The Justice Department has filed a "statement of interest" in the case to show their backing for the lawsuit.

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