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Campus entrance to the University of Florida in Gainesville. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Three University of Florida professors who were barred from providing testimony in a case to overturn the state's new voting law filed a lawsuit against the university on Friday.

The big picture: Dan Smith, Michael McDonald and Sharon Austin allege in the lawsuit that their First Amendment rights were violated and are asking the court to nullify the school policy that led to a "stifling of faculty speech against the state," according to the Tampa Bay Times.

  • The state hasn't “prohibited testimony by professors at public universities that favor its viewpoint," the lawsuit says, per the Times.
  • The professors are also asking the court to "permanently bar the university from limiting their outside work on matters opposing the state’s interests," writes the New York Times.
  • Faculty members were not employed “to be mouthpieces for a particular administration’s — or any administration’s — point of view,” the lawsuit reads.

Driving the news: On Friday, the University of Florida announced that it would reverse its decision to bar the professors from providing testimony for plaintiffs disputing a new voting law that Gov. Ron DeSantis signed in May.

  • The voting law limits the use of ballot drop boxes and requires voters to request absentee ballots and more.
  • The university received backlash from its own faculty, Florida politicians and academics across the country for barring the professors from providing testimony, per the Miami Herald.

Go deeper

Supreme Court agrees to hear North Carolina voter ID law case

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a case on whether Republican lawmakers in North Carolina have the right to defend the state's photo identification voter law.

State of play: The North Carolina state legislature had submitted a request to have the court review a decision from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that said lawmakers could not intervene in a lawsuit brought by the NAACP against the state's voter ID law.

Movie theaters go out of style

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccination rates are going up, people are going out to restaurants again — although the new COVID variant may get in the way — but they still aren't rushing back to the movies.

By the numbers: Some 49% of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer hitting theaters, according to a study from the film research company The Quorum, as reported by the New York Times.

2 hours ago - Health

Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

European countries are doubling down on pressure campaigns to get people vaccinated just as Republicans continue to wage war — often successfully — against vaccine mandates in the U.S.

Why it matters: The starkly different approaches create a sharp contrast between the regions' approaches to vaccination, even as the Omicron variant rapidly spreads around the world.