For Immediate Release: October 15, 2021
Contact: Ryan Hite, Communications Director
Washington, D.C.: “In big win, Leon County Judge Layne Smith has upheld a Florida law blocking vaccine passports,” said Ed Martin, president of Phyllis Schlafly Eagles. “Judge Smith denied a request from a Sarasota business to require customers to be vaccinated to enter the premises. This is a big win in support of the vaccine passport ban that Governor DeSantis and the Florida legislature championed this year. This is a huge victory for freedom of conscience and to maintain open markets.”
Judge Layne Smith’s order admitted that his ruling did not address whether or not prohibiting businesses from requiring proof of vaccination was a good idea, but “notwithstanding, that decision belongs solely to the legislature and is subject to approval or rejection by the voters at the ballot box.” He also went so far as to remind that the business is free to inquire from their customers about COVID-19 status, but not require.
“Judge Smith was spot-on in his ruling,” Martin continued. “He found that, contrary to the arguments of the business in question, this isn’t an issue of free speech at all. The Florida law regulates conduct, not speech. Businesses are free to offer their opinions and even ask customers questions, but they may not require documents as a condition of entry. Good for Judge Smith staying true to the role of a jurist and congratulations to the Florida legislature and governor for crafting well a freedom-based law! May it be a model for other states.”