A New York Supreme Court justice has overturned Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul’s order that people wear masks in public schools and public venues.
“There can be no doubt that everyone in this state wishes, hopes, and prays that the COVID era will come to an end soon, and they will definitely do their part to see that it does,” Judge Thomas Rademaker said in his opinion.
“However, it is completely up to the State Legislature to adopt any laws to this effect.” While Commissioner Bassett and Governor Hochul appear to be doing what they believe is proper to safeguard the inhabitants of New York State, Rademaker stated in his ruling that they must take their case to the State Legislature.
According to the verdict, the governor’s mask mandate was “in violation of the State Administrative Procedure Act as promulgated and adopted and hence illegal, void, and unenforceable as a matter of law.” The order was also “violative of the Public Health Law as issued and enacted and hence null, void, and unenforceable as a matter of law,” according to Rademaker.
According to Axios, Hochul responded by saying that it is her “duty as Governor” to “defend New Yorkers throughout this public health crisis,” and that her mask order will “help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.”
Hochul’s Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), applauded the judge’s decision while simultaneously taking a shot at his Democratic opponent:
We did it! A New York State Supreme Court Judge just ruled the Hochul Administration’s statewide mask mandate as unconstitutional and a violation of New York State law. Honored to have fought side by side with small business owners, parents, elected officials like Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and so many others in fighting for common sense, freedom, and the full science as opposed to just partial science.
Just yesterday, I heard a taxpayer-funded Public Service Announcement featuring a medical expert telling the public that the CDC no longer recommends the use of cloth masks. However, Governor Kathy Hochul has continued to force New York children as young as 2-years-old to be masked up all day long two years into a pandemic that has harmed kids physically, developmentally, mentally, and emotionally. Enough, and it’s not just in our schools. The overreach of this statewide mask mandate that relies on partial science rather than all of it has been very widely and adversely felt throughout New York.
While Hochul refers to New Yorkers as her “apostles” and equates wearing a mask all day to wearing sneakers, the reality remains that, despite the Governor’s hubris, New Yorkers know best.
Hochul said earlier this week that her mask rule for schoolchildren was not disruptive or harmful, justifying her decree by claiming that youngsters “adapt” better than adults.
“We’re going to be driven by data,” Hochul said in response to a question from a reporter about when such mandates will end. “And look at what our situation was prior to the mandates and assess was that the right number to go back to. I can’t say with certainty but that is a starting point to look at the number before we instituted these. We instituted these because we saw the storm coming our way. We watched the global trends; we saw how quickly this escalated in our countries, like England and South Africa and we knew that could hit us.”
She added: “I know people are tired, but I also want to say one thing about the kids: My daughter had a meltdown about having to put sneakers on to go to kindergarten. She got used to wearing sneakers in school. They adapt better than adults do.”