Appellate Court Judge Temporarily Restores New York’s Mask Authority

Appellate Judge restore New York’s mask mission Tuesday, a day after a lower court judge ruled that Governor Kathy Hochul’s administration lacked the constitutional authority to order people to wear face coverings in public. Pandemic caused by covid-19.

After hearing brief arguments, Justice Robert Miller of the Appellate Division accepted the state’s request to keep face covering rules in place while the governor’s administration pursued the appeal.

He did not comment on the legitimacy of the mission.

The stay-in comes after a tumultuous day in which several New York school districts — particularly in Republican-leaning areas — rushed to make optional masks for students and teachers, and state education officials told administrators they should continue to enforce mask duty.

Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, said her office will continue to defend the task in court.

“Nearly three years after the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that wearing a mask saves lives. This mission and today’s decision is crucial in helping to stop the spread of this virus and protect individuals young and old,” James said.

At issue is the legitimacy of the order the state health commissioner issued in mid-December when the omicron variant spurred a massive wave of Covid-19 infections in the state.

Masks required in schools, health care facilities, homeless shelters, prisons, public transport, and in any public indoor area that do not require vaccination when into the door.

For now, the statewide mandate is only set through February 1.

Sentencing Monday in a case brought by a group of parents, Long Island judge Thomas Rademaker said the governor and state health commissioner do not have the authority to issue such an authorization. without legislative approval.

A magistrate “is a law that is unlawfully enacted and enacted by the executive branch of the state, and is therefore void and unenforceable,” the judge said.

As school districts wait for legal questions to be asked, parents receive a variety of instructions, depending on where they live.

In the Massapequa School District, on Long Island, administrators immediately made the wearing of masks optional.

“While it is certain that this decision will face legal challenges, until sued, wearing a mask will be optional for students and staff at Massapequa School starting Tuesday, ” the school district said on its website.

City of Syracuse schools are among those stuck with state guidance. “That means anyone entering any of our schools must continue to wear a mask,” a notice on the district’s website said. New York City also stuck with the mask-wearing rule, which predates the state order.

In Westchester County, Mamaroneck Superintendent Robert Shaps has made the wearing of a mask optional.

US Republican Representative Elise Stefanik criticized Hochul for “ignoring” the lower court’s ruling. She told parents in her upstate New York congressional district to call her office if their child is not allowed to go to school without a mask.

“Masks are not compulsory for students. However, Kathy Hochul is still trying to force young children to wear masks in school, shamelessly disregarding the law,” Stefanik said in a news release before the appeals court took action.

Nothing in Rademaker’s ruling prevents school districts from adopting their own masking rules.

Arguing before Miller on Tuesday, Judith Vale, a state attorney, said that if Rademaker’s ruling is delivered, it would endanger people’s health.

“This order, if not maintained, would allow individuals to refuse to wear face coverings in indoor public places where the risk of COVID-19 spread is high, including in schools where many children I have not been immunized against COVID-19,” the state said in a court filing.

Attorney Chad Laveglia, who issued the challenge on behalf of a group of parents, vowed to do it “as long as it needs to go”.

“The judge was completely wrong,” he said of Miller’s decision to suspend Rademaker until the appeals court had a chance to hear more detailed arguments.

Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt criticized Hochul for relying on mandates and said she should instead send a bill to the Legislature for debate.

“We’ve been through this two years of this pandemic, and it makes no sense that this administration is still ruling by proxy – which continues to cause confusion, frustration and division among New Zealanders,” he said. York,” he said.

The legal battle comes as the wave of omicrons that enveloped New York state is easing. The state averaged just under 22,000 new cases of the virus per day during the seven-day period ending Monday, down from 74,600 per day during the peak of the wave in early January. Hospitalization rates have also dropped, falling 17 percent statewide over the past seven days.

New York State Council of Teachers President, Andy Pallotta, cited current public health guidance in favor of face masks at a time when infection rates are high.

“In the meantime, we are looking to state health officials to set a clear path for when mask requirements in schools can be eased,” Pallotta said, “so that’s it.” Students, families and educators are sure that there is light at the end of this long tunnel. ”

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/appeals-court-judge-temporarily-restores-new-york-s-mask-mandate-n1288023 Appellate Court Judge Temporarily Restores New York’s Mask Authority

Jake Nichol

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