'Unconstitutional and illegal': Florida Rep. announces lawsuit against City of DeLand over mask mandate

Florida State Rep. Anthony Sabatini was in DeLand on Monday, trying to strike down the city's ordinance mandating people wear masks in public to fight the COVID-19 infection.

He did this all while thousands of Floridians daily are testing positive for the virus and public health officials called for all Americans to wear masks.

“This mandate they passed two weeks ago on July 2 is totally and completely unconstitutional and illegal,” Sabatini said. “You look at the history of our state, we’ve never seen government, especially local government, but really any government, tell us what we have to do with our own face and our own body.”

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Sabatini's been crisscrossing the state, filing lawsuits against cities and counties with laws requiring people to wear masks. In DeLand, he represented Brian Dolata, who said he couldn't wear one.

“I cannot wear a mask because of my immunity,” Dolata said at Sabatini’s news conference, “I could end up sick.”

A Leon County court has already rejected Sabatini’s challenge to a mask law there. Sabatini said he wasn't deterred, stating that "it's not until we get an appellate decision that we really know what the law's going to be in Florida. The goal is to get this thing to the Florida Supreme Court.”

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The DeLand ordinance requires people to wear masks in public with fines up to a hundred dollars. Florida doctors said they supported the measure to keep the virus from spreading.

“This is not the time to scream about individual rights,” said Dr. Candice Jones, an Orlando Physician, “this is the time to be concerned about public health - the health of everyone.”

Sabatini's lawsuits in Orange County, Hillsborough County, and several other municipalities, are still pending.


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