Miami New Times
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office has settled a federal lawsuit brought by activist Thomas Kennedy, who alleged his civil rights were violated when he was banned from attending the governor’s press conferences and placed on a “situational awareness” flyer by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
Kennedy filed the federal case in June 2022 against DeSantis, the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, and FDLE Commissioner Mark Glass, saying he sued to “defend free speech and ensure that independent journalists” have access to publicly funded press conferences. He claimed his placement on the FDLE list and the media-conference ban, which was implemented after he loudly criticized DeSantis during a 2020 event, violated his rights to free speech, due process, and equal protection.
“The plaintiff has been searching for answers from the governor on his administration’s plan for COVID, and other policy matters, and has repeatedly been prevented from attending events and exercising his First Amendment rights,” the lawsuit alleged.