Lawsuit Seeks to Block Republican National Convention in Jacksonville

July 9, 2020 by Dan McCue

A Jacksonville attorney filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking a circuit court  to declare next month’s Republican National Convention a nuisance “injurious to the health,” and require it to either be cancelled or scaled down to a much smaller event with strict mask and social distancing requirements.

President Donald Trump demanded the convention be largely moved from its original host city, Charlotte, North Carolina, due to Gov. Roy Cooper’s refusal to guarantee the event would be open to all who wanted to attend, regardless of the coronavirus risk.

The Republican National Committee subsequently announced that Trump’s nomination for re-election and other major speeches had been moved to the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

Now in a lawsuit filed in Duval County Circuit Court, attorney W.C. Gentry argues the Jacksonville events, planned Aug. 24-27, should be put on ice due to the threat it poses of spreading the virus and harming residents and local business owners.

“To avoid community spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and welfare of plaintiffs and the community, it is necessary and essential that all super spreader events where large numbers of people congregate in close proximity indoors not occur,” Gentry wrote in the lawsuit.

“Unless restricted by the court, the congregation of thousands of people in close proximity for extended periods will constitute a nuisance and result in massive spread of COVID-19,” he added.

The lawsuit goes on to cite a 1917 state law letting citizens go to court to get relief from nuisances that affect the public in general and sue in the name of the state, which is also listed as a plaintiff.

Reached by The Well News on Thursday, Gentry declined to elaborate on the lawsuit, saying the complaint was “self-explanatory.”

The lawsuit named the City of Jacksonville, the Republican National Committee, President Trump’s reelection campaign and ASM Global Parent Inc., the company that manages the arena, as defendants.

In addition to Gentry, the plaintiffs are Curtis Booker, pastor of God’s Way of Living International Church;  Jack Meeks, a certified public accountant; Dana Miller and Robin Wallace, owners of hair care businesses in the area; and Albert Buckner III, a Duval County schools employee.

Also named as plaintiffs are attorneys Dexter Davis and Tad Delegal.

The suit asks for a court order either blocking the gathering from happening at the 15,000-seat arena or shrinking the event to no more than 2,500 people.

Currently, Gov. Ron DeSantis’s executive orders limit all venues like the arena to 50% occupancy limit. Whether those requirements will remain in place late next month is unknown.

A spokeswoman for Jacksonville said Wednesday the city had only just received the lawsuit Wednesday and was continuing to review its options.

In The News



Political News

Maryland Enacts Sweeping Reforms to Make Police More Accountable
In The States
Maryland Enacts Sweeping Reforms to Make Police More Accountable
April 13, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Maryland's General Assembly on Saturday enacted the nation’s most sweeping police reform legislation to make officers more accountable to the public. The new rules place more restrictions on use of force and no-knock warrants. Other provisions require body cameras and give civilians a... Read More

Congress to Honor 2nd Capitol Police Officer Slain This Year
Law Enforcement
Congress to Honor 2nd Capitol Police Officer Slain This Year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Slain U.S. Capitol Police Officer William "Billy" Evans will lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday during the second such memorial ceremony this year for a force that has edged close to crisis in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection.President... Read More

Biden Aims for Bipartisanship But Applies Sly Pressure
White House
Biden Aims for Bipartisanship But Applies Sly Pressure

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has begun publicly courting Republicans to back his sweeping infrastructure plan, but his reach across the aisle is intended just as much to keep Democrats in line as it is a first step in an uphill climb to any bipartisan... Read More

Biden Wants Infrastructure Deal, But GOP Doubts Persist
Biden Wants Infrastructure Deal, But GOP Doubts Persist

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden wants Congress to know he's sincere about cutting a deal on infrastructure, but Republican lawmakers have deep-seated doubts about the scope of his proposed package, its tax hikes and Biden's premise that this is an inflection point for the U.S.... Read More

U.S. Looks To Support Clean Infrastructure In India, Bangladesh
U.S. Looks To Support Clean Infrastructure In India, Bangladesh
April 12, 2021
by Daniel Mollenkamp

Last week and over the weekend, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry met with officials from the governments of India and Bangladesh to talk about strategies for improving climate resilience and adapting to climate change. Kerry emphasized recent U.S. aid projects to the two... Read More

Unintended Consequencs of Sex Trafficking Laws
Unintended Consequencs of Sex Trafficking Laws
April 12, 2021
by Victoria Turner

The two federal laws governing sex trafficking online have disproportionately harmed more sex workers than saved victims of human trafficking, said Danielle Borrelli, operations coordinator at the California Cybersecurity Institute, today at a Lincoln Network event moderated by Alexiaa Jordan.   Known and used collectively as SESTA-FOSTA,... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top