TAMPA, Fla. - Tampa attorney Patrick Leduc was ready to do battle with the Emergency Policy Group over their coronavirus curfew order in Hillsborough County.
On Monday, the EPG voted 5 to 3 to approve a curfew between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Some members were concerned that people were still gathering in large groups despite the safer-at-home order, so they implemented the curfew.
Leduc was prepared to challenge the curfew order. “It doesn’t pass the constitutional mustard and must die the death it deserves,” he insisted.
Leduc planned legal action if the order wasn't lifted by the EPG during their meeting this afternoon. The EPG did indeed decide to scrap the order, but made no mention of the threatened lawsuit. Instead, several members said they moved too quickly in ordering a curfew when a safer-at-home order was already in place.
Leduc claimed that the curfew order was flawed. He says it was vague and overbroad and violates the U.S. and Florida constitution because it didn't state explicitly what conduct is punishable.
Leduc also argues the curfew violated the separation of powers. He claims Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister is an officer of the constitution and is part of the executive branch. The EPG group is part of the legislative branch; therefore the sheriff should not have voted on curfew order. That, he argues, was a violation of separation of powers and means the curfew order should be tossed out.