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Judge upholds Leon County's mask ordinance

Posted at 4:46 PM, Jul 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 18:07:43-04

LEON COUNTY, Fla.(WTXL) — A Tallahassee judge has decided that the Leon County mask ordinance is here to stay.

On Friday, Circuit Judge John Cooper ruled that the Leon County mandatory mask mandate is saving lives and
not violating personal freedoms.

This ruling comes after hours of back-and-forth between small business owner and former Leon County GOP chair Evan Power who called the language unclear.

"Really the crux for us is it appears vague. It says if we're not recently opened to the public, which we're not, then we don't have to wear a mask. But what if I cross someone in the hallway that's a different business entity," said Power.

He was also backed by Lake County representative Anthony Sabatini.

"Ability to move their bodies freely is of concern and I think that violates the due process clause," said Sabatini.

Despite a brief interruption of alleged hacking, Judge Cooper ruled in favor of the county.

Judge Cooper explained that the mandate is clear, understandable and should stay in effect as long as people are at risk of contracting the coronavirus.

"If people are going to go inside businesses and not spread it all over the place, then about the only thing available is a face mask," said Judge Cooper. "That's why CDC recommends it. That's why the World Health Organization recommends it."

Representative Sabatini hasn't said if they will be appealing the judge's decision.

This is not the only mask-related lawsuit Sabatini has filed.

In Hillsborough County, he also filed to redraft their mask law, so businesses are now prohibited from denying people entrance if they don't have a mask on.