The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Friday ruled to strike down Governor Tom Wolf’s statewide mask mandate for schools.
The challengers of the mandate, including Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Centre) and State Representative Jesse Topper (R-Bedford), argued that the decision of masking should be left to local school boards or parents, not the state government.
According to a report from PennLIVE, the court highlighted that Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam did not have the power to issue the broad regulation.
“Some government officials have used COVID to fundamentally reorder the nature of our government, and have violated democratic principles and personal liberty in the process. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed that this must stop,” said Phill Kline, director of The Amistad Project which supported the lawsuit.
“The decision to require masks in schools is one that properly belongs with individual school boards in consultation with parents. State officials bypassed the normal democratic process to put this order in place, and this court is doing its duty by striking down their executive overreach.”
After the lawsuit was initially filed, Governor Wolf’s office quickly dismissed the idea of the suit, claiming the challenge to be an “effort at undermining public health.”
“With today’s ruling, the power for parents and local leaders to make health and safety decisions in our schools is restored. That power comes with an obligation to review the facts and act in the best interests of our communities – which is why legislative leaders sent a letter to Governor Wolf yesterday to reconvene the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force. I encourage all stakeholders to review the needs and conditions in our communities to make the best choices for our kids,” added Sen. Corman.
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