An Arizona law banning mask mandates in all state schools was struck down Monday by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper who called it “unconstitutional and unenforceable,” two days before the law was meant to take effect.
“While some will likely want to challenge today’s ruling, our communities are tired of being political pawns in dangerous attempts to subvert democracy and ignore science,” said state school superintendent Kathy Hoffman in a statement, according to NPR.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich blamed left-wing groups for the ruling on Twitter, claiming he’d appeal the ruling.
We will appeal this ruling.
It’s unfortunate that left-wing groups want to undermine the legislative process and indoctrinate our children with critical race theory and force vaccines on those who don’t want them. https://t.co/mh6THreV63
— Mark Brnovich (@GeneralBrnovich) September 27, 2021
The mask mandate ban was challenged by a coalition of advocacy groups who sued the state, arguing the ban was tucked into an unrelated budget bill and therefore unconstitutional, according to The Associated Press. (RELATED: Biden’s Education Department Will Investigate Texas’ Mask Mandate Ban In Schools)
The coalition of advocacy groups argued that due to the highly viral nature of the delta variant, mask mandates were more important than ever and if the rule wasn’t blocked, children would be place into risk that is otherwise avoidable, according to the New York Post.
Cooper stated the banning of mask mandates was unconstitutional under Article 2, Section 13 of the Arizona constitution that reads “No law shall be enacted granting to any citizen, class of citizens, or corporation other than municipal, privileges or immunities which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens or corporations.”
She also said the ban being hidden within a Budget Reconciliation Bill or BRB was unconstitutional, according to Article 4, Part 2, Section 13 of the Arizona Constitution.
Texas passed similar legislation banning mask mandates by government entities. Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott went a step further by threatening fines for any who enforce mask mandates.