Judge Blocks DeSantis From Banning School Mask Mandates, Says Florida Gov. Overstepped His Authority

Ron DeSantis

A district judge on Friday blocked Florida Governor Ron DeSantis from banning mask mandates in schools.

Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper argued DeSantis’ executive order is unconstitutional and “without legal authority.”

The judge issued an injunction blocking the Department of Education from withholding salaries of superintendents and school board members as punishment if they defied DeSantis’ order on masks.

ABC7 reported:

School districts in Florida may impose mask mandates, a judge said Friday, ruling that Gov. Ron DeSantis overstepped his authority by issuing an executive order banning the mandates.

Leon County Circuit Judge John C. Cooper agreed with a group of parents who claimed in a lawsuit that DeSantis’ order is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced. The governor’s order gave parents the sole right to decide if their child wears a mask at school.

Cooper said DeSantis’ order “is without legal authority.”

The order will not immediately affect policy in Sarasota or Manatee county schools. After Friday’s ruling, a spokesperson for Sarasota schools told ABC7 in an email, “The district is aware of the findings of the case. We’ll be sure to let you know if/when we have a formal update to share.”