Is Wearing a Mask in New York ‘Unconstitutional’? One Judge Says Yes!
It's been nearly two years since the first COVID-19 pandemic surge hit the United States, and I think we can officially say, that wearing a mask is a pain.
It restricts your breathing, it's uncomfortable for long periods of time, and you can't secretly mouth jokes to your family and friends without people knowing what you're saying. The last of the three, now that is the real tragedy.
That being said, masks are helpful in a number of cases. They will never end COVID-19, or any virus, for that matter, but they can help prevent the spread of the disease if used properly, and that is often a victory in and of itself.
Mask mandates have been enacted and redacted countless times, and with the recent rise of the Omnicron variant, a mandate was re-enacted in the state. One judge, however, decided that decision was unconstitutional.
So, who's right?
Supreme Court Judge in Nassau County Deems Mask Mandate Unconstitutional
In a story reported by the Hudson Valley Post, New York State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Rademaker ruled that the mask mandate put in place for students by Governor Kathy Hochul was, in fact, unconstitutional.
The judge ruled that Hochul was outside her jurisdiction in mandating that all students wear masks without the approval of other lawmakers in the state of New York. Though Hochul claims that she believes she has the authority to make such a ruling during a time of heightened danger like this, the court in Nassau County did not see eye-to-eye with her.
For Now, The Mask Mandate Will Remain in Effect
So, does that mean I can take my mask off and dramatically throw it to the side?
Well, no, not quite yet.
According to The Times Union, and a number of other sources, Hochul is planning to file an appeal to the Nassau County Supreme Court, in an attempt to attain a reversal of this decision. While the timeline is not clear as to how long this appeal will take, what we do know is, time will benefit Hochul's cause.
While the appeal is sorted out, the decision will be "stayed", meaning that no changes will be made. The mask mandate will remain in effect until the appeal is addressed and, if its denied, the mask mandate will be dropped.
Until then, students and employees will continue to hide their smiles behind pieces of cloth. At least for now.