FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A group gathering in front of the Broward County Courthouse Friday morning joined with a Plantation gym owner who has filed a lawsuit against the county over its mask ordinance.
Mike Carnevale was with Anthony Sabatini, a Republican state representative from Central Florida, also a lawyer, who has filed a similar lawsuit in Miami-Dade Circuit Court on behalf of Linda Cuadros, the owner of an online travel agency.
The small, but mighty and loud group of protesters in front of Broward’s courthouse, said they believe that a mandate to wear a mask is unconstitutional. They didn’t wear face masks nor did they social distance, flouting their disagreement with the Broward mask mandate.
Some carried signs. One sign, held by a protester, written in marker stated: “Fines, Curfews, Lockdowns, Arrests. I Thought Broward was a County not a Prison Camp.”
Sabatini said at the news conference that: "The face mask order violates several parts of the Florida constitution. It violates the privacy clause, one of the most robust privacy clauses in the country. It violates due process."
The plaintiff, Carnevale, said: “We are really all for keeping Florida safe and healthy, but we feel that this is an overreach,” to cheers from the audience.
"It's time to rise above the fear and it's time to start using common sense and let's lock into our intuition and start listening to our hearts on these issues," he said, again garnering cheers.
We asked what other laws that they don't obey?
“Do you wear a seatbelt when you drive? Do you have a driver’s license? Do you have insurance? When you go to the airport do you go through TSA and take your shoes off? Does that infringe on your liberties?”
Sabatini said that he hears the comparison between seat belts and masks frequently.
“It’s a great comparison to make. Here are the differences. Highways are the most regulated of the public domain. You are operating a very sophisticated piece of machinery, going upwards of 80 to 90 miles per hour with tens of thousands of people on a highway The government has a vested interest in controlling that. That is the opposite of why we are here today.”
In May, Sabatini filed a lawsuit on behalf of David Leavitt, a Central Florida businessman over a face mask requirement in Seminole County.
In the Miami-Dade County lawsuit, Cuadros claims that the mask mandate has severely interfered with her personal liberty and business enterprise, along with other infringements.
(See the Miami-Dade County lawsuit below)