Nassau County State Supreme Court has struck down Governor Kathy Hochul’s statewide mask mandate as unconstitutional.
WETM reports Judge Thomas Rademaker wrote that the governor does not have the authority to impose the mandate since emergency powers are no longer in place.
The court document states, “While the intentions of Commissioner Bassett and Governor Hochul appear to be well aimed squarely at doing what they believe is right to protect the citizens of New York State, they must take their case to the State Legislature.”
The mandate was enacted by Governor Hochul last month, requiring face coverings in schools and other public places, in order to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 omicron variant.
Governor Hochul released the following statement in regards to the ruling:
“My responsibility as Governor is to protect New Yorkers throughout this public health crisis, and these measures help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. We strongly disagree with this ruling, and we are pursuing every option to reverse this immediately.”
The State Education Department also issued a statement, saying it was their understanding that the Department of Health will appeal the decision, “which will result in an automatic stay that will unambiguously restore the mask rule until such time as an appellate court issues a further ruling. Therefore, schools must continue to follow the mask rule.”