The U.S. Department of Justice says a new law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, which bans some Chinese citizens from buying property in Florida, violates the U.S. Constitution.
“These unlawful provisions will cause serious harm to people simply because of their national origin, undermines constitutional rights, and will not advance the State’s purported goal of increasing public safety,” the DOJ wrote in its filing in Federal Court this week.
The DOJ argues the law violates the Federal Fair Housing Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14thAmendment.
When he signed the legislation, Gov. DeSantis touted it as a matter of national security.
“Our food security is also national security,” the Governor said at the bill signing ceremony in May.
State officials didn’t respond to requests for comment.
In May, soon after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the state, Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson said he was confident the courts would find the new law constitutional.
“This has nothing to do with Asian Americans. Nothing. If you’re an American, you have all the ability you want to buy all the land you want,” Simpson said.
The latest legal battle comes during a time many are a calling “The Summer of Litigation.”
Several new state laws passed in the recent legislative session have already been challenged in court.
In the last two weeks, judges have either thrown out or paused new laws targeting transgender healthcare and drag performances in the state.