Gov. DeSantis files emergency appeal of ruling against school mask mandate ban

The governor's office believes the appeal will be decided on quickly by the appellate court.

Updated: September 9, 2021 - 8:09pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) filed an emergency appeal in court on Wednesday evening, following a circuit judge's ruling earlier in the day that rejected his earlier appeal to maintain the state's ban on school mask mandates.

The ruling by Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper earlier on Wednesday blocks the ban on the governor's school mask mandates as the case works up through the courts, allowing schools to require masks without having to provide an opt-out for parents, according to The Hill.

DeSantis' lawyers argue in their 41-page appeal that they "have a high likelihood of success on appeal" because the trial court "abused its discretion" by blocking the ban on school mask mandates.

Cooper's earlier decision said DeSantis had overreached in banning school mask mandates, arguing that the state's Parents' Bill of Rights law does not allow him or he Florida Department of Education to do so.

The latest appeal asserts that the Parents' Bill of Rights "limits governmental authority and protects the inherent rights of parents."

"Thus, the Governor could not possibly have violated the Parents' Bill of Rights by protecting parents' rights," the appeal continues. "Most assuredly, the Parents' Bill of Rights does not grant any authority to local school districts that did not previously exist."

The communications director for DeSantis, Taryn Fenske, gave a statement to The Hill saying that the belief of the governor's office is that a ruling will be made quickly on the appeal by the appellate court.

"No surprise here that Judge Cooper concluded that he is unlikely to be overruled on appeal. We [unsurprisingly] disagree. Yesterday we filed our emergency motion to reinstate the stay, and we anticipate the appellate court will rule quickly, much like during the school re-opening case last year," Fenske's statement said.