Florida state circuit court Judge John C. Cooper has just ruled from the bench that Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ executive order banning mask mandates and blocking local school boards from implementing those protective measures is “without legal authority” and is “arbitrary and capricious.” A group of parents supporting mask mandates sued the Republican governor, believing his order violates the state’s constitution.
DeSantis exceeded his authority in signing the executive order, Judge Cooper ruled.
“The Parents’ Bill of Rights does not authorize the governor, the state board of education, or the department of education to tell school boards you cannot institute a mask mandate,” Cooper declared.
DeSantis signed that bill earlier this year, and has repeatedly pointed to that new law when claiming school boards enacting face mask mandates are acting illegally. The judge says that’s wrong.
“Parents’ rights are very important, I’m a parent,” Cooper says, “but they’re not without some reasonable limitations.”
Florida law “does not support a statewide order, or any action interfering with the constitutionally provided authority of local school districts to provide for the safety and health of children, based on the unique facts on the ground in a particular county,” Cooper added.
“Face mask policies that follow CDC policies are reasonable at this time,” Cooper said. “The Parents’ Bill of Rights does not ban face mask mandates.”
The judge provided massive amounts of evidence discrediting DeSantis’ order, telling the state the studies it provided were made before the delta variant was the dominant strain, and called the CDC the “pre-eminent medical authority in U.S.” and the “gold standard.”
Judge Cooper does not sound impressed with one of the governor’s infamous COVID roundtable meetings – a video of which the state submitted as evidence (lol) – because there were statements made about incompetence of the CDC without evidence. https://t.co/1XauKhbxS9
— Nate Monroe (@NateMonroeTU) August 27, 2021
Judge Cooper knocked down several false claims made by the DeSantis administration and his advisors, including that masks are “child abuse,” and that children cannot spread the coronavirus to adults.
He also embarrassed the governor’s office, stating evidence they submitted stated schools that adopted face mask mandates had 37% fewer coronavirus cases.
Further embarrassing the administration, Judge Cooper stated the executive order mischaracterized a law known as the Parents’ Bill of Rights.
Judge Cooper said the rights of citizens are limited when exercising those rights would harm others. Laws and orders should only exist when they preserve the general welfare.
— Joe McLean (@JoeMcLeanNews) August 27, 2021
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DOJ Files for Emergency Order to Block Texas Abortion Ban: ‘Necessary to Protect the Constitutional Rights of Women’
The U.S. Dept. of Justice late Tuesday night asked a federal judge to block Texas from implementing Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s near-total ban on abortion, saying prohibiting the law from taking effect is “necessary to protect the constitutional rights of women in Texas and the sovereign interest of the United States.”
The New York Times notes the DOJ has already filed a lawsuit against Texas, arguing the law, known as SB8, was signed into law “to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights.”
DOJ: the private vigilante mechanism in the Texas law does not prevent it from obtaining relief, despite the Court’s ruling in the case involving private parties. DOJ argues courts can prohibit Texas from enforcing SB8. In other words, courts exist to protect people’s rights. https://t.co/CgDXUNICj6
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) September 15, 2021
This is a breaking news and developing story.
White Supremacism-Spewing Man Allegedly With Machete, Bayonet, and Swastika-Decorated Vehicle Arrested Near DNC
A California man claiming he was “on patrol” was arrested Monday morning near the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Donald Craighead, 44-year, had a bayonet and machete with him, according to NBC News, and his Dodge Dakota pickup truck, was decorated with a swastika and other white supremacist symbols.
CNN reports that Craighead “had multiple knives in his truck,” and notes the arrest comes one month after a man parked his truck in front of the Library of Congress and allegedly threatened to blow up the nation’s capital.
“This is good police work plain and simple,” U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said in a press release . “We applaud the officers’ keen observation and the teamwork that resulted in this arrest.”
Capitol Police add that Craighead “began talking about white supremacist ideology and other rhetoric pertaining to white supremacy.”
On January 6 police found bombs in front of the DNC and RNC. Last week the FBI released new footage of the alleged suspect.
— U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) September 13, 2021
Florida Appeals Court Allows DeSantis’ Ban on Mask Mandates to Be Imposed Despite Massive COVID Cases
A Florida state appeals court on Friday reversed a lower court’s ruling and allowed Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban on mask mandates to be re-imposed, NBC News reports.
Florida remains in the top ten states in number of new daily coronavirus cases per capita, with numbers about 50% higher than the national average, according to the most recent New York Times data.
County Circuit Court Judge John Cooper last month ruled against DeSantis but placed a stay on his ruling pending DeSantis’ appeal. On Wednesday Judge Cooper again ruled against DeSantis, and lifted his stay, ordering the ban he called “arbitrary and capricious,” and “without legal authority” to be voided.
On Friday, despite the massive number of COVID-19 cases in Florida the Florida 1st District Court of Appeal ruled a stay “should be vacated only for the most compelling of reasons.” That ruling suggests the court believes the current 7-day average of 15,610 daily new coronavirus cases was not sufficiently “compelling” to allow school districts to implement mask mandates, and Judge Cooper’s ruling that “everybody,” including the governor, has to “comply with the laws passed by the Florida legislature.”
NBC News adds that this “most recent decision in the back-and-forth legal battle means schools can be penalized for enforcing mask mandates to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”
This is a breaking news and developing story.
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