Former Judges Defend ‘Grim Reaper’ Lawyer In COVID War With Gov. Ron DeSantis


Two former high-ranking Florida judges are standing up for a lawyer who posed as the Grim Reaper on seashores final summer time to criticize GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis’ dealing with of COVID-19 and even filed a lawsuit to drive DeSantis to shut seashores within the state.

When a decrease courtroom dominated towards the legal professional, Daniel Uhlfelder, he appealed. But then the conservative First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee referred him to the Florida Bar for discipline, calling his enchantment frivolous earlier this year, and later appeared to retaliate after he spoke to the press, ordering that he be investigated for misconduct and contempt of court.

Former Justice R. Fred Lewis, who served on the Florida State Supreme Court for greater than 20 years, filed an affidavit earlier this week defending Uhlfelder within the ongoing Bar Association investigation. He wrote that the lawyer had every right to sue — and appeal.

“When a citizen believes the governor is violating his constitutional duty to preserve the life and well-being of his citizens, he has the right to bring that claim before a court of general jurisdiction, and, if the trial court believes it cannot hear it but encourages an appeal, the Floridian has the right to seek an appeal of that decision,” Lewis wrote.

“It is my view that legal action, the independence of counsel and requirements that lawyers be strong advocates are pillars of our democracy,” Lewis added.

Former First District Court of Appeals Chief Justice Robert Benton additionally filed an affidavit on Uhlfelder’s behalf, calling the “independence of the judiciary … key to preserving our liberties, and [the] independence of counsel essential to our adversarial system.”

Meanwhile, an editorial within the Orlando Sentinel this week mentioned the appeals courtroom “looks to be persecuting Uhlfelder to send a message that here in Florida, you don’t mess with this governor.”

Uhlfelder first began stalking Florida’s seashores because the Grim Reaper in May 2020 because the state began to reopen early on within the coronavirus pandemic.

On Twitter on Thursday, he appeared happy to be known as the governor’s “chief tormentor” within the Sentinel op-ed and posted a chart of Florida’s skyrocketing COVID-19 deaths.

— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLegislation) September 16, 2021

If solely somebody had warned the world how harmful Ron DeSantis was 18 months in the past

— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLegislation) August 25, 2021

The state hit near a complete of 51,000 deaths from COVID on Monday. At least 2,400 Floridians died simply the primary two weeks of September.

Cases within the state, nevertheless, are starting to drop, with 9,760 reported on Thursday. That put the seven-day common to 11,816 instances, the bottom since July 22, in keeping with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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