And Tango Makes Three Book (Amazon)

Federal Judge In Florida Denies School Board’s Request To Block Testimony In Book Removal Case

And Tango Makes Three Book (Amazon)
And Tango Makes Three Book (Amazon)

A federal judge has rejected the Escambia County School Board’s request to shield its members and superintendent from testifying in a lawsuit over the removal of the children’s book “And Tango Makes Three.”

U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor ruled that the board’s arguments for a protective order, including claims of irrelevancy and legislative privilege, were not sufficient to prevent depositions in the case.

The lawsuit, brought by the book’s authors and a student, alleges that removing the book, which depicts two male penguins raising a chick, violated First Amendment rights. The plaintiffs argue that the removal was motivated by the book’s depiction of same-sex parents.

Read: Revised Lawsuit Says Florida Gov. DeSantis Violated Voters’ Constitutional Rights

While denying the current motion, Judge Winsor acknowledged the board’s right to file a revised request specifically addressing legislative privilege, potentially allowing individual board members to invoke the privilege to avoid testifying.

“The board members could seek to quash the subpoenas (for depositions) based on legislative privilege,” Winsor wrote. “But it is not clear the board can assert the privilege itself as grounds for a protective order, especially without a direct indication that the members wish to invoke the privilege.”

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