OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis submitted an emergency appeal after a court ruled against his executive order banning mask mandates.
DeSantis urged that Leon County Judge John Cooper overstepped his authority after lifting the mask mandates ban after some parents sued the state government.
DeSantis had earlier withheld funds for two school districts that violated his anti-mask mandates order.
“DeSantis’s lawyers, along with Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, the Florida Department of Education, and the State Board of Education accused Cooper of overstepping his powers as a judge, citing that the state should be the one in charge of COVID-19 restrictions,” the Daily Mail reported.
“Prior to the emergency motion, Judge Cooper had contended that DeSantis violated the law and mask mandates were ‘reasonable and consistent with the best scientific and medical opinion in this country,'” the Daily Mail report added.
The report continued:
On July 30, DeSantis issued an executive order forcing the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Department of Health to allow parents to opt-out their children from wearing masks at school, even as COVID-19 infections in the state jumped 50% in that week.
Thirteen Florida school districts, representing more than half of the state’s 2.8 million public school students, kept their mask mandates. In retaliation, DeSantis stripped funds equal to monthly school board members’ salaries in Alachua and Broward counties.
Three teachers from Broward County School District died from COVID-19, just as Broward County’s School Board voted to defy Gov Ron DeSantis’ order to drop the mask mandate. The Judge said DeSantis didn’t have the legal authority to ban mask mandates and his order was unconstitutional and could not be enforced.
DeSantis said that the state had to protect “parents’ freedom to choose.”
DeSantis described the CDC recommendations to wear face masks as “the most significant threat to freedom in my lifetime,’ and even accused the health agencies of ‘medical authoritarianism.”
He argued that “all parents have the right to make healthcare decisions for their minor children.”
“I have (three) young kids. My wife and I are not going to do the masks with the kids; we never have. I want to see my kids smiling. I want them having fun,” DeSantis added.
“I think that this decision about whether parents want their kids to have to wear masks all day at school, I think that’s a decision that falls squarely within the concord of this Parents’ Bill of Rights that I signed,” the governor added.