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University of Florida orders professors not to testify against voting restrictions

The University of Florida said Saturday it is barring three professors from providing expert testimony in a lawsuit that says a new state law restricts voting rights, The Associated Press reports. The university said in a statement that testimony by professors Dan Smith, Michael McDonald, and Sharon Austin as paid experts for the plaintiffs would be "adverse to the university's interests as a state of Florida institution."

Lawyers for the coalition of civics groups challenging the law said in court papers that the university told the professors their testimony would create a conflict for the school because it would clash with the position of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' administration. Critics of the Florida law, which reduces drop-box and mail-in voting, say it discriminates against voters of color in violation of the Voting Rights Act.