Jacksonville Attorneys File Lawsuit to Stop Republican National Convention

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21: on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, …
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Several attorneys in Jacksonville, Florida, teamed up to file a lawsuit to stop the Republican National Convention from taking place there in August.

The lawsuit, filed in Duval County, makes several arguments as to why the city should not host the Republican National Convention as Florida’s coronavirus case numbers rise.

The suit said the convention would be “a nuisance injurious to the health [and] welfare” of the community.

“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,” the suit reads.

The attorneys filed the suit days after Florida recorded the most coronavirus cases in a single day out of any state throughout the pandemic, having 11,458 cases as of Saturday.

Florida has had 223,783 coronavirus cases and 3,889 deaths from the virus, and 10,439 of those cases and 70 deaths took place in Duval County, according to state data.

The attorneys attribute the uptick in Florida cases to the loosening of restrictions of public gatherings.

The attorneys who filed the suit request that no more than 2,500 people be admitted to VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena and that the rest of the seats in the arena be roped off to ensure proper social distancing.

The convention was initially supposed to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, but the president changed where he would give his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination after getting into a disagreement with Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper over coronavirus restrictions.

Republican National Committee (RNC) spokesperson Mike Reed said in a statement that the RNC is “committed to hosting a safe convention” in tandem with local health guidelines.

“The event is still almost two months away, and we are planning to offer health precautions including but not limited to temperature checks, available PPE, aggressive sanitizing protocols, and available COVID-19 testing,” he said.

The city of Jacksonville announced last week that masks must be worn in public indoor spaces where social distancing is not possible.

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