Florida Can’t Enforce Drag Ban After Supreme Court Declines To Step In


Florida will not be able to enforce its ban on drag shows while legal challenges play out in court, after the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday turned down a request from Florida to enforce the law after it was blocked by a lower court.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed the “Protection of Children Act” in May. (Photo by Joe … [+] Raedle/Getty Images)

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Key Facts

Florida had appealed to the Supreme Court after a lower district court judge blocked the law, arguing it was a violation of First Amendment rights and was designed to target drag queen performers.

The Supreme Court voted against Florida’s request 6-3, with Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch as the dissenters.

Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, who were in the majority, said in a statement included with the court order that the decision didn’t reflect their view about whether the law violates the First Amendment, according to the Washington Post.

Key Background

Drag shows aren’t explicitly mentioned in the law, which was signed into law by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in May, prohibiting minors from attending performances with lewd conduct that is without “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for the age of the child present.” Violators of the law could be punished through the fines and the suspension or revocation of operating and liquor licenses for businesses admitting children to performances defined by the law. Hamburger Mary’s, a drag-themed restaurant chain with locations in eight states, filed a lawsuit against Florida’s law. The suit argued the law was too vague, negatively affected Hamburger Mary’s business and violated the First Amendment. A district court in Orlando ruled in favor of the restaurant, arguing Florida didn’t adequately tailor its own regulation and issuing a preliminary injunction that blocked the law.

Big Number

20%. That’s the dip in reservations Hamburger Mary’s claimed it experienced following the signing of the Florida law.


Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation has become prevalent throughout the U.S. this year, with more than a dozen states targeting transgender healthcare. Governors in states such as Idaho, Florida, Texas and Missouri signed off on bills that prohibit minors from receiving gender-affirming care and/or gender transition surgeries.

Further Reading

Florida Drag Show Law Blocked By Federal Judge (Forbes)

North Carolina Restricts Gender-Affirming Care After Overriding Governor’s Veto—Here Are All The States With Similar Bans Or Restrictions (Forbes)

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