Judge backs Gadsden County mask order, admonishes Anthony Sabatini

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Sabatini could be filing "frivolous lawsuits," Judge David Frank says.

Judge David Frank of the 2nd Circuit Court upheld Gadsden County’s mask mandate Tuesday but also issued some unsolicited advice to lawyer and Rep. Anthony Sabatini.

The Howey-in-the-Hills Republican has been the attorney on at least four similar lawsuits. No court has yet ruled in his favor, and a Leon County mask mandate was upheld last month in the 2nd Circuit Court.

Despite other judges ruling against the mask ordinance lawsuits he represented, Sabatini took up the Gadsden County case last month. Frank

“The Court urges Mr. Sabatini to reflect on the possibility that, at some point, he could be sanctioned for filing frivolous lawsuits,” the Judge wrote. “Once the law on a particular subject is well established, a lawsuit based on consistently rejected grounds will be frivolous unless there is, ‘a reasonable argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law.'”

The Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners passed the mask resolution on July 17. Ten days later, Gerald Carroll, the owner of a small electrical contracting company in Navana, filed the lawsuit to strike down the mandate.

Sabatini, on behalf of Carroll, argued that the county’s mask requirement violated his right to privacy and due process. But Frank’s 10-page ruling makes his position clear.

“At the end of the day, commissioners were asked to choose between sparing residents the minuscule inconvenience of wearing a mask and saving lives,” Frank wrote. “They chose saving lives. And they did so in conformity with the Florida Constitution.”

Sabatini has led the crusade in Florida against “Mask-Nazis” and argued that he does not believe there is an imminent public health crisis in Florida.

Masks, he said, should be left up to individuals and businesses. The government does not really have a crisis it needs to address, Sabatini claims. And even if it did, it should not be addressed with what he considers an unconstitutional abridgment of people’s rights by requiring them to wear masks in public. “I think they’re worth fighting for,” he said.

He defended his “Mask-Nazis” insult as a variation of the “soup Nazi” gag from the Seinfeld sitcom in the 1990s, saying it was his attempt to bring a sense of humor into politics.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


5 comments

  • just sayin

    August 26, 2020 at 8:04 am

    I disagree with Sabatini, but that judge can pound sand. Do your damn job, Sabatini will do his.

  • Harold Finch

    August 26, 2020 at 9:53 am

    Sabatini is the Class Clown and Buffoon of the Florida Legislature!!! What an embarrassment to his District and the State!!!

    Cna anyone say “Recall”!!!

    • Michael Siegel

      August 26, 2020 at 1:41 pm

      Couldn’t agree more.
      He’s doing this to further his own political agenda and for no other reason besides that he’s obviously not very intelligent to put it mildly.
      Look at the stuff he says on Twitter for further proof of his so called thought process.
      Disgrace to the legal profession like we don’t already have enough mostly self imppsed image problems.

  • Palmer Tom

    August 26, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    They keep electing him, so it may reflect the electorate in that part of Lake County. I’d side with the judge on this one. Sometimes the argument is over and further arguments are either tin-eared or self-serving.

  • Harold Stassen

    August 26, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    This clown will serve another few years and then convince himself that he has built a statewide network due to his firm stand on the constitution. He will then make a run for higher office and his “network” of equally foolish buffoons will have moved on to the next outrage, leaving him behind.

    Of course he will lose.

    Of course he will never go away.

Comments are closed.


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