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Appeals court sides with DeSantis reinstating Florida’s ban on school mask mandates

Ron DeSantis
Wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis looks on during a news conference, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, at a Navarro Discount Pharmacy in Hialeah, Fla. DeSantis announced that seniors will soon be able to receive COVID-19 vaccinations at Navarro Discount Pharmacies and CVS y mas pharmacies in Miami-Dade County. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Gov. Ron DeSantis received temporary good news, an appeals court ruled Friday to keep the state’s ban on student mask mandates in place, at least until it issues a final ruling on the ban.

The ban on masks requirements issued by the Florida Department of Health in August had been suspended Wednesday by a judge in Tallahassee. Judge John C. Cooper.

Friday’s order overrides Cooper, giving the Florida Board of Education the right to continue withholding the salaries of school board members in districts that require face covering for students.

At least 13 schools districts, including Florida’s six largest, have implemented mask mandates.

“Upon our review of the trial court’s final judgement and the operative pleadings, we have serious doubts about standing, jurisdiction, and other threshold matters,” Friday’s order states. “The doubts significantly militate against the likelihood of appellees ultimate success in this appeal.”

The U.S. Department of Department said Friday evening it had opened a civil rights investigation in Florida.