The court dominated by the Democratic party will report their opinions on the mask mandate in the coming days.
The Supreme Court in Pennsylvania had struck down a statewide school mask mandate, which was supported by Dem. Gov. Tom Wolf and Alison Beam, on Friday.
The court declared that Beam, who stepped into the role after former Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine moved on to the Biden administration, did not have the power to mandate that students mask up in school.
The ruling affirmed a decision by the lower Commonwealth Court, which had stated earlier this year that the state’s Disease Control and Prevention Act 1955 did not provide Beam “the blanket authority to create new rules and regulations out of whole cloth.”
A written form of the court’s opinion which summarized the mask mandate ruling has not yet been issued but it will come forward, in the future.
Mask Mandate: The First Lawsuit
The first lawsuit was filed by a consortium of parents, school districts, and Republican politicians, including state Senate Leader Jake Corman III, R-State College, and state Rep. Jesse Topper, R-Bedford.
Senior Deputy State Attorney General Sean Kirkpatrick argued that the Wolf administration had the authority to impose the school mask mandate and said the delta variant of coronavirus was causing a lot more harm to children. He stated this in the Philadelphia court on Wednesday.
Wolf spokeswoman Beth Rementer described the court’s decision as extremely disappointing.
“The administration recognizes that many school districts want to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for students and staff, and we are hopeful they will make appropriate mitigation decisions moving forward,” Rementer said.
In August, the state’s Republican legislative majority drafted a bill currently awaiting a floor vote that would provide Pennsylvanians with an “opt-out” provision from any in-school mask mandate.