Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has offered her support for the plaintiffs suing the city of Gainesville over its vaccine mandate policy.
Moody filed an amicus brief in the 8th Circuit Court saying the vaccine mandate does not hold constitutional muster as well as acting as a deterrent for recruiting new members to Florida’s law enforcement agencies.
“Florida’s vaccine passport ban, § 381.00316, Fla. Stat., forbids a ‘governmental entity’ from, among other things, ‘requir[ing] persons to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination’ to ‘gain access to . . . the governmental entity’s operations in this state,’ id. § 381.00316(2). The City’s policy operates to deny employees ‘access to’ the City’s ‘operations,’ in violation of that statute. The term ‘operations’ is broad enough to include the hiring and firing of City employees, who are integral to running a government, and the term ‘persons’ is sufficiently capacious to include City employees.”
Relating to law enforcement, Moody cited Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ and the Florida Legislature’s recent efforts to attract law enforcement officers from across the country to Florida in the wake of the “Abolish the Police” movement.
“The resulting police shortages are a threat to public safety in Florida. When law enforcement agencies ‘lose officers without bringing in a number of qualified recruits to replace them,’ this leads to ‘[l]onger wait times’ after citizens call the police, ‘fewer crimes solved and cleared,’ and an overall lower ‘quality of life in our communities.’ The State of Florida has been actively seeking to mitigate this threat to public safety. The State recently paid police officers and other first responders a $1,000 bonus in recognition of their sacrifices during the COVID-19 -pandemic.
And Governor DeSantis recently announced police recruiting-related proposals for the next legislative session, including new officer signing bonuses, scholarship programs, and out-of-state relocation support. The Legislature has also enacted measures to prevent local governments from defunding the police.”
DeSantis has recently warned against the vaccine mandate by criticizing some of Florida’s municipalities enforcing that have implemented them.
“This is political, it’s about using government power to control,” DeSantis said. “We’re going to protect these jobs, we’re going to protect livelihoods and we’re going to protect families.
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