Handing another victory to the state Friday, the 1st District Court of Appeal overturned a ruling that said Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran violated the Florida Constitution when he issued a July order aimed at reopening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nothing in the emergency order requires any teacher or any student to return to the classroom,” a three-judge panel of the appellate court said in the 31-page decision.
The panel flatly rejected the conclusions of Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson, who in August sided with teachers unions that challenged Corcoran’s order. The unions argued, at least in part, that the order violated a constitutional guarantee of “safe” and “secure” public education.
The appeals court said the plaintiffs in the case lacked legal standing and were asking courts to decide “non-justiciable political questions.” Also the panel said the union’s arguments would require courts to violate the constitutional separation of powers and that they failed to show Corcoran’s order was “arbitrary and capricious.”
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