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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‘I’m the President’: Trump So Determined to Go to the Capitol He ‘Grabbed at the Steering Wheel’ From Secret Service: Aide
After delivering his speech at the Ellipse telling supporters to march “to the Capitol,” promising them “and I’ll be there with you,” then-President Donald Trump got into the presidential limousine determined to see the insurrection.
Trump, his chief of staff Mark Meadows, the Secret Service, and many others knew rally-goers and insurrectionists had weapons, including AK-47s, according to Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide and advisor to Meadows.
On Tuesday, Hutchinson told the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack that Trump ordered Secret Service to “get rid of the mags,” meaning the magnetometers – metal detectors – so his armed supporters could enter the Ellipse.
“You know, I don’t even care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me,” Trump said.
Hutchinson also told the Committee that Trump ordered Secret Service to take him to the Capitol after his speech, but they refused.
“I’m the f-ing president! Take me up to the Capitol now!” Trump, irate, demanded, as The Washington Post reports.
“The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm, said, ‘Sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We’re going back to the West Wing. We’re not going the Capitol,’” Hutchinson relayed.
“Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel,” she said. “When Mr. Ornato had recounted this story to me, he had motioned towards his clavicle.”
“I’m the f’n president. Take me up to the Capitol now” — Hutchinson testifies that Trump GRABBED AT THE STEERING WHEEL of a car to try to force the secret service to take him to the Capitol pic.twitter.com/k84BMa4cnN
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 28, 2022
‘Things Might Get Real Real Bad’ Meadows Warned Top Aide on January 6, She Tells House Select Committee
Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide and advisor to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows revealed to the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack that her boss had warned her of the apparent potential for violence on January 6.
Hutchinson, who worked for Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Steve Scalise before moving to the White House in 2018, says Meadows told her the morning of January 6 that “things might get real, real bad.”
Seven people present at the January 6 rally and/or insurrection died that day and in the days following.
Cassidy Hutchinson testifies that Rudy Giuliani expressed excitement about Jan. 6 to her days before the event.
She then says she told Mark Meadows about her conversation with Giuliani, and he replied: “Things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6.” pic.twitter.com/3zaRcenrDx
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) June 28, 2022
They knew there would be weapons, Hutchinson says.
Hutchison says Meadows reaction to the report of rioters carrying weapons was not to even look up from his phone. She said "all right anything else" still looking down at his phone.
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) June 28, 2022
‘Momentous’: Jan. 6 Committee Announces Hearing Set for Tuesday With Surprise Unnamed Witness
The House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has just announced it will hold a hearing on Tuesday, a last-minute move that is expected to include testimony from a surprised, unnamed witness.
The New York Times reports the Committee says it has “recently obtained evidence.”
“The hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m., according to a news release issued by the committee, in which it provided no other details about the surprise session,” the Times adds.
Calling the surprise hearing “momentous,” MSNBC’s Sahil Kapur reports: “They don’t say what the evidence is. They don’t say who the witness is. But this must be a pretty big development for the committee to change its plans on such short notice and hold the hearing after it had initially postponed all additional hearings to after recess, to July, when the House returns from the July 4 break.”
“Again, momentous news. We don’t have more details to report including the identity of the witness, but we’ll be following closely. This report comes after they held heartings last week talking about then-President Trump’s attempts to pressure the Justice Department to go along with his false or fabricated claims of a stolen election in order to stay in power. The committee seems to think it’s got something really big here. And as a result we’re going to get another hearing tomorrow afternoon. Tuesday afternoon at 1 PM Eastern.”
The Select Committee will convene a hearing tomorrow, June 28 at 1:00pm to present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony.https://t.co/6knNdD9UWb
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 27, 2022
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
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