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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Death Toll Rises to Six as Three Children and Three Adults Declared Dead In Covenant School Mass Shooting (Streaming Video)
Six people have now died after a shooter shot and killed three young children and three adults at The Covenant Presbyterian School, a private Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee. Police say the shooter was a 28-year old woman who had two assault rifles and a handgun.
WSMV announced the rise in deaths on-air, noting that the shooter is also dead. A police spokesperson later increased the announced death toll from five to six. Including the shooter the death toll is seven.
⚡️JUST NOW — NASHVILLE POLICE: “Shooter was FEMALE, in her teens… 2 assault rifles and a handgun… 7 dead total (3 kids) including shooter… shooter dead within 14 minutes of first call…” pic.twitter.com/KvKwlQZXOB
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) March 27, 2023
Live streaming video via CBS News below.
This article has been updated with additional video.
1:56 PM ET: Updated to change age of shooter based on new reporting from WSMV.
Trump Lawyer’s ‘Critical Evidence’ Will Help DOJ Make Decision to Charge ‘Without Significant Delay’: Former Prosecutor
Donald Trump‘s attorney Evan Corcoran, who allegedly directed another Trump attorney to draft the false statement claiming all classified and sensitive documents had been returned, has been ordered to testify before a grand jury and hand over documents and records to Special Counsel Jack Smith in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents criminal investigation.
Trump appealed U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell’s decision ordering Corcoran to testify and hand over documents, including handwritten notes. The Appeals Court in light speed mode, rejected Trump’s appeal.
Corcoran will be testifying before the grand jury on Friday, CNN reports.
RELATED: ‘National Security Implications’: Former DOJ Official Speculates on Ruling Ordering Trump Attorney to Hand Over Docs
One former top DOJ official, Brandon Van Grack, says the “Special Counsel is about to get access to the most critical evidence in the case. Should allow DOJ to make a charging decision without significant delay.”
He did not define what “without significant delay” means in terms of days, weeks, or months.
Van Grack served at Main Justice for eleven years, including as a lead prosecutor in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and later, as the Chief of the DOJ’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit.
“The announcement from a panel of three judges in the appeals court – less than a day after Trump sought to put Corcoran’s testimony on hold – adds momentum to the special counsel investigation as it seeks to secure evidence that could make or break a federal criminal case against Trump,” CNN explains. “The Justice Department has successfully argued in court that prosecutors have enough evidence that Trump’s interactions with the lawyer were part of a possible crime that they can pierce the confidentiality of the conversations between the two.”
‘National Security Implications’: Former DOJ Official Speculates on Ruling Ordering Trump Attorney to Hand Over Docs
A former top Dept. of Justice official says a federal judge’s expedited ruling ordering an attorney for Donald Trump to testify against his client before a grand jury and hand over documents very well may be related to “national security.”
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled that DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith had successfully made the case Donald Trump may have committed a crime, via his attorneys, in his classified documents case. That finding allowed her to invoke the crime-fraud exception, and order Trump attorney Evan Corcoran to testify before the grand jury investigating the ex-president’s unlawful retention and refusal to return hundreds of classified documents.
Former FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann, who also worked for Special Counsel Robert Mueller and headed the DOJ’s Criminal Fraud Section, Wednesday afternoon on MSNBC said it’s possible Judge Howell’s expedited decisions were related to national security.
Tuesday night Judge Howell ordered DOJ to provide information by 6:00 AM Wednesday.
READ MORE: Jim Jordan’s Attack on Manhattan DA Will ‘Backfire’ and Allow Democrats to Expose Coordination With Trump: Columnist
Trump appealed Howell’s ruling, and Wednesday afternoon the Appeals Court denied his appeal related to the documents, Politico reports.
“I’ve never seen anything that quick. It’s very hard to know why. I have to say, to me, when I think about what can be a plausible reason– and this is pure speculation – is that there must be something in the papers that gave the judges concern about national security implications, because it’s such a short timeframe.”
“The reason this is a bombshell is you could end up with Evan Corcoran as a key, fundamental witness against Donald Trump in an obstruction of justice case and a false statements case,” Weissmann adds.
According to Politico, Wednesday’s appeals court ruling “effectively permits the Justice Department to circumvent Trump’s attorney-client privilege after a lower-court judge found that the documents likely contain evidence of a crime.”
NEW: Trump Lawyer’s ‘Critical Evidence’ Will Help DOJ Make Decision to Charge ‘Without Significant Delay’: Former Prosecutor
This article was updated to correctly spell Andrew Weissmann’s last name.
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