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Lawsuit filed against Leon County seeks to stop enforcement of indoor mask order

Suit calls order 'unconstitutional'
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Posted at 12:04 PM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 12:48:11-04

LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — A lawsuit has been filed against Leon County, challenging the county's mask order.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by State Representative Anthony Sabatini, on behalf of Leon County GOP Chair Evan Power, in the Second Judicial Circuit of Leon County.

The suit seeks injunctive relief to stop Leon County from enforcing the order, a judgment declaring that the order is unconstitutional and any other relief the court deems proper.

Sabatini made the announcement on Twitter Thursday morning saying, "No county should be able to fine $250 for not wearing a mask."

The lawsuit contends that the order's language violates several clauses in the Florida Constitution.

First, Sabatini says that the order violates the Privacy Clause because it infringes upon the "expectation of privacy that most Floridians expect to have over their own bodily and facial autonomy in addition to their medical privacy."

Secondly, the suit asserts the order is unreasonable because there's no data to support that the order will help curb COVID-19 hospitalizations.

"The curve has been successfully flattened, with hospitalizations decreasing in Leon County, and a new mask mandate bears no relationship to this goal," the lawsuit reads. "... Due process of law protects against the unreasonable legislative deprivation of life, liberty, or property and the Emergency Ordinance deprives [Power] of his liberty."

Sabatini also contends the order is too vague and exempts public safety personnel from having to wear masks whether on or off the job.

Lastly, the lawsuit said the order should be declared unconstitutional because it would theoretically penalize people who don't wear masks when attending religious services, which Sabatini says violates the Religious Freedom Clause in the Florida Constitution.

You can read the full lawsuit below:

Evan Powers Lawsuit Against... by WTXL ABC 27 on Scribd

Moments after Leon County commissioners passed their emergency ordinance requiring face masks in indoor, public places on Tuesday, GOP Chair Evan Power announced his intention to sue the county.

This is a developing story. Stay with us for details.