June 1, 2023

Press Release

Brandeis Center Commends Florida Governor and Legislators for Signing HB 269 Into Law

| 4/27/2023

Washington, D.C., April 27: Kenneth L. Marcus, founder and chairman of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights for two presidents, issued the following statement today on the signing of HB 269 into law:

“We are delighted Florida’s Governor today took strong action to address the alarming spike in anti-Jewish hate crimes by signing Florida's HB 269. Representatives Caruso and Fine should be congratulated for their leadership and the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County applauded for its work.

“We are now seeing a resurgence of right-wing hate crimes in the streets, just as we are seeing left-wing anti-Semitism growing on the campuses. All forms of anti-Semitism must be fought, through all available legal means, and we are pleased that this legislation will provide us with important additional tools to do so in Florida, as we continue to fight this scourge throughout the country.”

The Brandeis Center provided constitutional and legal analysis to Florida’s Jewish community in support of the bill.

Jews make up just 2% of the populace, but, according to the latest FBI statistics, Jews have been targeted more than all other religious groups combined.  

Anti-Semitic incidents have been rising in Florida for several years, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s 2022 report, “Hate in the Sunshine State.” As reported by JTA’s Andrew Lapin, “antisemitic groups have rallied outside Walt Disney World and a Chabad house in Orlando; displayed messages of Jew-hatred on a Jacksonville stadium during a highly watched college football game; and visited Florida universities trying to provoke students with messaging including “Ye Is Right” (referring to the rapper, formerly known as Kanye West, who went on an antisemitic tirade last fall).”

The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law is an independent, unaffiliated, nonprofit corporation established to advance the civil and human rights of the Jewish people and promote justice for all. LDB engages in research, education, and legal advocacy to combat the resurgence of anti-Semitism on college and university campuses, in the workplace, and elsewhere. It empowers students by training them to understand their legal rights and educates administrators and employers on best practices to combat racism and anti-Semitism. The Brandeis Center is not affiliated with the Massachusetts university, the Kentucky law school, or any of the other institutions that share the name and honor the memory of the late U.S. Supreme Court justice. 

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