by | Dec 29, 2020

On December 23, 2020, a federal district court issued a nationwide preliminary injunction stopping the federal government from enforcing Executive Order (EO) 13950. Santa Cruz Lesbian and Gay Cmty. Ctr., et al. v. Trump, No. 5:20-cv-07741-BLF (N.D. Cal. Dec. 23, 2020).

The EO, considered controversial since its implementation in September 2020, prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from using “any workplace training that inculcates in its employees any form of race or sex stereotyping or any form of race or sex scapegoating,” certain “divisive concepts.” These include training topics such as race or sex stereotyping (ascribing character traits, values, moral and ethical codes, privilege, status or beliefs to a race or sex) and race or sex scapegoating (assigning fault, blame, or bias to a race or sex or individuals of that race or sex or any claim that a person is consciously or unconsciously inherently racist or sexist or inclined to oppress others).

The district court issued the injunction on two grounds. First, that the EO violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment “because it impermissibly chills the exercise of the Plaintiffs’ constitutionally protected speech, based on the content and viewpoint of their speech.” And second, that parts of the EO violate the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause because they are so vague that “it is impossible for Plaintiffs to determine what conduct is prohibited.” A preliminary injunction may be later reversed, but while this case is pending, the federal government cannot enforce the EO.

Read the district court case decision here.

Read more about the Executive Order on our blog here.

Read the Executive Order here.

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