Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: Meeting in Israel didn't violate law

DeSantis calls lawsuit frivolous

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis waves to the gallery as he makes his state of the state speech on the first day of legislative session Tuesday, March 5, 2019, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said a lawsuit filed by an open government watchdog group claiming a meeting with the state's Cabinet he held in Israel is frivolous.

DeSantis and Florida's three independently elected Cabinet members met Tuesday in the state Capitol, six days after meeting in Jerusalem as part of a trade mission.

The First Amendment Foundation and several media outlets sued in an effort to stop the meeting, saying it violated the state constitution and laws that require meetings be accessible to the public.

DeSantis said the Jerusalem meeting was legal and conducted in the open. He noted that it was livestreamed.

But First Amendment Foundation President Barbara Petersen said there is nothing frivolously about the concerns raised in the lawsuit about the constitutionality of the meeting.

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