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Leon County mask mandate lawsuit to move to appeal process

Photo courtesy MGN.
Photo courtesy MGN.(MGN)
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 5:45 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Leon County mask mandate debate will continue, moving up to appellate court.

Florida Representative Anthony Sabatini has filed a notice of appeal after a Leon County Circuit judge ruled the mask ordinance was constitutional.

Representative Sabatini says he'll be filing the initial brief in about two weeks.

He says the lack of specific case law on the subject was a barrier in the lower trial court; he’s hoping eventually the Florida Supreme Court will weigh in, indirectly creating the first law.

Sabatini argues the mask mandates around the state violate the privacy protections in the Florida Constitution, as well as the equal protection clause and the due process clause.

“It’s really not about the masks, it’s about the role of government. And it’s important that people understand that whether you believe in masks or not, you should be able to have the right to choose to wear one. It’s a medical device being prescribed to you for your own health, and perfectly healthy individuals should be able to choose whether they want to wear a mask,” said Representative Anthony Sabatini.

Sabatini says he has 13 of these lawsuits around the state; this will be the second to move up to appellate court. His Gainesville lawsuit is already at that level.

The list of 13 includes a new lawsuit in Gadsden County filed on July 28. A local business owner is arguing the mask mandate has interfered with his personal life and his business.

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