Florida Gov. DeSantis Appeals Judge’s Order Blocking Ban On Mask Mandates
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) has appealed a judge’s ruling blocking the governor’s order to school officials not to impose strict mask mandates in their districts in an effort to block the spread of the COVID-19.
The governor’s legal team submitted their case Thursday to the 1st District Court of Appeal. The governor wants the court to reverse the decision last week by Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper, which allowed Florida’s 67 school officials to impose mask mandates without consent from parents.
Following the court’s decision, DeSantis said at a press conference this week that he is confident that his administration will win on appeal, citing Florida’s Parents Bill of Rights law. According to the governor, last week’s court decision takes away parents’ right to make their own decisions regarding their children’s education and health.
“We’ll end up getting it back,” DeSantis told reporters earlier this week following the court’s decision. “Obviously, it’s problematic. We think it’s important that they are given the ability to opt-out [of the mandates].”
Cooper, however, said that the Bill of Rights law allows government actions that are necessary to protect public health. He ruled that imposing mask mandates on students in an effort to block the spread of COVID-19 in schools is necessary for public health.
“It doesn’t require that a mask mandate must include a parental opt-out at all,” Cooper said in the ruling.
In response, DeSantis’ office released a statement Friday, claiming that Cooper’s decision wasn’t based on the law but the “incoherent justifications.”
“It’s not surprising that Judge Cooper would rule against parents’ rights and their ability to make the best educational and medical decisions for their family, but instead rule in favor of elected politicians,” Taryn Fenske, a spokesperson to DeSantis, said in a statement. “This ruling was made with incoherent justifications, not based in science and facts — frankly not even remotely focused on the merits of the case presented.”