Huckabee Sues Over Order Closing His Beach

County government in Florida approved ordinance to enforce social distancing
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2020 4:53 PM CDT
Mike Huckabee Joins Suit to Keep His Beach Open
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, shown in 2016, wants to use his private beach in Florida.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The social distancing effort by local government officials in Florida has reached Mike Huckabee's waterfront home, and he's decided he'll fight them on the beaches. Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, has joined a lawsuit seeking an injunction to block the enforcement of a Walton County ordinance closing all private beaches, Law & Crime reports. The order prevents Huckabee and his Gulf Coast neighbors from "being able to use or even set foot in their own backyards," the suit says. Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a stay-at-home order last week that made exceptions for activities such as fishing, running and swimming, per the Orlando Sentinel. DeSantis has not ordered all beaches in the state closed, but many local governments in Florida have taken that step.

The suit does not appear to endorse social distancing as a way to curb the spread of the coronavirus. "Any hypothetical, negligible benefit conjured by those who passed the Walton County ordinance cannot possibly outweigh the profound trammeling of the present plaintiffs’ constitutional rights," the suit says. The measure could even force the homeowners into crowded public places in their search for recreation, they argue. There's a hearing scheduled for Monday. (More coronavirus stories.)

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