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Judge who overturned Gov. DeSantis’ mask order will also oversee Carlos Guillermo Smith’s public records challenge

Florida Politics, September 8, 2021, Jesse Scheckner

Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith’s lawsuit against the Florida Department of Health and outgoing Surgeon General Scott Rivkees now has a judge, according to records from the Leon County Clerk’s office. And his name might be familiar to those who have been following Florida politics during the pandemic.

Judge John Cooper of the 2nd Judicial Circuit, the same judge who invalidated Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban on school mask rules, has been assigned to oversee Smith’s public records suit, which was filed Aug. 30.

The nonpartisan Florida Center for Government Accountability (FLGCA) joined Smith in the suit, which came more than a month after the Orlando Democrat submitted a public records request for daily COVID-19 pediatric hospitalization and case counts from Orange County.

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