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 March 26, 2024

Judge with activist history against banning Chinese land purchases

An activist-turned-U.S. judge previously authored a concurring opinion opposing a Florida statute that prohibited Chinese nationals from purchasing property in the state.

According to the Hill, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals narrowly blocked in February a law that would have prohibited “Chinese citizens from buying land in the state from being enforced against two people who sued over the ban,” as Breitbart News reported.

In an order dated Thursday, a panel of 11th Circuit Court of Appeals judges stated that the plaintiffs established a "substantial likelihood of success" in their effort to prove their case against the law signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) in May 2023.

Case Details

Although the tribunal of the appeals court did not completely halt the law, it did issue an injunction in favor of the two plaintiffs, Yifan Shen and Zhiming Xu, who were concerned that they would be required to rescind home purchase contracts.

The panel stated in its ruling that the injunction was granted to the plaintiffs due to the fact that their “recent and pending transactions create the most imminent risk of irreparable harm” in the absence of court intervention.

In a more resolute assessment of the Florida law, Judge Nancy Abudu opined that it "blatantly violates the Fourteenth Amendment's protection against discrimination."

She further supported the argument that prohibiting Chinese nationals from buying land in the United States would be tantamount to racism. As detailed in an extensive article by Pirate Wires, the legislation did contain exemptions for specific Chinese nationals.

“Chinese citizens aren’t even really banned from buying land: Those with non-tourist visas can buy a residential property so long as it’s five miles away from a military base and smaller than two acres,” it noted.

Judge Abudu, in her concurring opinion, characterized Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' anti-Chinese Communist Party remarks as "anti-Chinese" and contended that the measure sought to impose a "blanket ban" that would forbid Chinese nationals from purchasing real estate in Florida. Pirate Wires referenced her extensive activism history:

Activist judges must be stopped

Abudu's decision should not have come as a surprise to those who are acquainted with her extensive background in legal activism but her brief tenure on the bench (she began serving on the Eleventh Circuit in September 2023, her first job as a judge).

She started her employment at the ACLU's Voting Rights Project in Georgia in 2005 and was appointed legal director of the ACLU of Florida in 2013; the organization in question, by the way, represented the Chinese plaintiffs in this particular case.

She became the Southern Poverty Law Center's Deputy Legal Director subsequent to her 2019 departure from the ACLU.

In addition, the controversy generated by Adubu's activism delayed her confirmation to the court for almost a year, during which time moderate Senate Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republicans opposed her. Manchin opposed her nomination even with his vote.

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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