[U.S. Court of Appeal] Mask mandate is unconstitutional and violates fundamental rights of the citizen.

  • [The U.S. Court of Appeal] Mask mandate is unconstitutional and violates the fundamental rights of the citizen.
  • Florida’s Court of Appeal gave a verdict against state authority.


The Hon’ble Court held that;

As we are about to explain, the supreme court has construed this fundamental right to be so broad as to include the complete freedom of a person to control his own body. Under this construction, a person reasonably can expect not to be forced by the government to put something on his own face against his will. Florida’s constitutional right to privacy, then, necessarily is implicated by the nature of the county’s mask mandate

“even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten.”

We note that the county chairman’s dictate did not just force a person to wear a mask in public. The mask mandate potentially reached into the privacy of one’s home.

article I, section 23’s guarantee of bodily and personal inviolability—which we are asked to follow—must include the inviolability of something so intimate as one’s own face. A person then reasonably can expect to be free from governmental coercion regarding what he puts on it.

If a challenged law implicates a privacy right, the burden shifts to the government “to prove that the law further[s] a compelling state interest in the least restrictive way.”

That is the error we correct by reversing the order currently on review.”


The important observations by the court are as under;

The supreme court made quite clear, repeatedly, in that case: The right of privacy is a “fundamental” one, expressly protected by the Florida Constitution, and any law that implicates it “is presumptively unconstitutional,” such that it must be subject to strict scrutiny and justified as the least restrictive means to serve a compelling governmental interest.

The phrase referred originally to a right to privacy that had been developing in the common law. Around the time of Cooley’s treatise, the U.S. Supreme Court observed the following:

No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded by the common law, than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law.

He moved for an emergency temporary injunction, and after a hearing, the trial court denied the request. Green appeals that order denying the injunction. We reverse because the trial court did not apply the strict scrutiny that the Supreme Court specifically requires for this type of constitutional challenge. We remand so the trial court can apply the correct analysis, if there is any extant mask mandate for Green to challenge.

Whether the trial court abused its discretion when it considered these four elements and ruled on the request.

If a challenged law implicates a privacy right, the burden shifts to the government “to prove that the law further[s] a compelling state interest in the least restrictive way. Gainesville Woman Care, 210 So. 3d at 1260. When the government fails to offer evidence to demonstrate a compelling state interest, the trial court then is absolved of having to make any finding to that effect.

When we look at the proceeding before the trial court through the lens of Gainesville Woman Care, then, we must initially consider whether the trial court reached the right conclusion about whether the mask mandate implicated a privacy right.

The trial court, though, did not assess Florida law to consider Green’s asserted right of privacy. Indeed, it never discussed or even referenced the Florida Constitution’s express guarantee of privacy.

We cannot reconcile this analysis of the trial court with the express privacy guarantee found in the Florida Constitution, as it has been characterized and interpreted by our supreme court. The trial court simply looked at the right asserted by Green too narrowly, relying on the wrong privacy jurisprudence. The right to be let alone by government does exist in Florida, as part of a right of privacy that our supreme court has declared to be fundamental. See, e.g., Winfield, 477 So. 2d at 547. As we are about to explain, the supreme court has construed this fundamental right to be so broad as to include the complete freedom of a person to control his own body. Under this construction, a person reasonably can expect not to be forced by the government to put something on his own face against his will. Florida’s constitutional right to privacy, then, necessarily is implicated by the nature of the county’s mask mandate. This means the trial court had to apply the single-prong, strict-scrutiny mode of analysis set out in Gainesville Woman Care. Because of its erroneous treatment of Green’s asserted right, the trial court did not do so. That is the error we correct by reversing the order currently on review.

A person cannot be forced to receive unwanted medical treatment.

Characterizing the right of privacy as also protecting one’s right to “decisional autonomy” in “various types of important personal” matters.

As defined by the supreme court, article I, section 23’s guarantee of bodily and personal inviolability—which we are asked to follow—must include the inviolability of something so intimate as one’s own face. A person then reasonably can expect to be free from governmental coercion regarding what he puts on it. Cf. State v. Presidential Women’s Ctr., 937 So. 2d 114, 116 (Fla. 2006) (“Under a free government, at least, the free citizen’s first and greatest right, which underlies all others [is] the right to the inviolability of his person; in other words, the right to himself . . . .” (quoting Chambers v. Nottebaum, 96 So. 2d 716, 719 (Fla. 3d DCA 1957))); id. at 117; Gainesville Woman Care, 210 So. 3d at 1262 (reiterating well-understood “concepts of bodily autonomy and integrity” (quotation and citation omitted)).

We return to the government order that is at issue in this appeal. Alachua County’s commission chairman had been issuing and reissuing emergency mask mandates for a year—since May 2020, in fact. The edicts commanded every person within the county’s jurisdiction to wear a face-covering that met governmental specifications.

We note that the county chairman’s dictate did not just force a person to wear a mask in public. The mask mandate potentially reached into the privacy of one’s home.

(Anyone else in Alachua County) reasonably could expect autonomy over his body, including his face, which means that he was correct to claim an entitlement to be let alone and free from intrusion by Alachua County’s commission chairman. The mask mandate, then, implicated the right of privacy. According to Gainesville Woman Care, the mask mandate was presumptively unconstitutional as a result.

But see Machovec v. Palm Beach County, 310 So. 3d 941 (Fla. 4th DCA 2021) (reaching a different legal conclusion). We certify conflict with the Fourth District on this issue.

The trial court’s incorrect legal conclusion about the right implicated by the mask mandate in turn spoiled the remainder of the temporary injunction proceeding. For this reason, we reverse the trial court’s denial of the temporary injunction. We remand for a new proceeding that presumes the unconstitutionality of the mask mandate, in the event there still is some mask mandate that remains to be litigated.

In any additional injunction hearing regarding a mask mandate in this case, the single question that the trial court must answer is the likelihood that the mask mandate would survive strict scrutiny.

Holding that given the likelihood of the law’s unconstitutional impingement on privacy, there could be no adequate remedy at law for its enforcement, and the law’s mere “enactment would lead to irreparable harm.

The trial court’s analysis should address how, if at all, the mandate fits within this state scheme for managing a declared public health emergency.

Even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten."

You Can Download the said order

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