Palm Beach residents sue county over mandate requiring people wear masks

Palm Beach residents sue county over mandate requiring people wear masks

As not seen on WBBJ


BY JUSTIN WISE

A group of four Palm Beach County residents on Wednesday filed a lawsuit challenging a county policy that requires people to wear masks in public to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The suit, filed in Florida state court, alleges that the county policy infringes on the plaintiffs’ constitutionally protected rights by forcing them to wear “harmful medical devices like masks” and asks the court to issue an injunction blocking its enforcement.

“Despite having no authority, actual or apparent, under Florida law to do so, Defendant has recklessly required countless American citizens and Florida residents… to submit to dangerous medical treatments with well-known risks and potential for serious injuries and death,” the complaint alleges.

The legal action comes as state and federal leaders begin pushing more aggressively for Americans to practice social distancing and wear face masks in public. Amid rising coronavirus cases in Florida, Palm Beach County commissioners on June 23 unanimously approved an executive order requiring people to wear face masks while in public.

The order is set to be in place indefinitely, CBS 12 news reported last week. Violating the order could reportedly result in a civil citation or a fine.

The complaint against the order was filed on behalf of Josie Machovec, Carl Holme, Rachel Eade and Robert Spreitzer, four Palm Beach County residents who say the new policy infringes on their constitutional rights to “life and liberty,” among other things.

The lawsuit argues that the CDC recommendations for wearing facial coverings in public do not have influence over state or federal law, saying they must be in accordance with the Florida and U.S. constitutions. It also claims that there isn’t conclusive evidence that masks help combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Before the lawsuit was filed, Palm Beach County Attorney Denise Nieman said that the county had the authority to implement appropriate measures in the name of public health and safety, according to The Palm Beach Post.

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