Thursday, November 11, 2021

Mandatory Statewide Masking at Schools Illegal, Sez Commonwealth Court.

A five-judge panel of Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court has invalidated a statewide school masking order by the Secretary of Health. Writing for four members of the Court, Judge Christine Fizzano Cannon is careful to observe that "we express herein no opinion regarding the science or efficacy of mask-wearing or the politics underlying the considerable controversy the subject continues to engender. She concludes, however that the Department of Health exceeded its authority. This is because Governor Tom Wolf's emergency disaster declaration has expired and was adopted without a statutory basis. You can read the Court's Opinion, along with Judge Michael Wojcik's dissent, here.

The Secretary of Health maintains she has this authority under Pennsylvania's Disease Control Law, but Judge Fizzano Cannon concludes this law confers no power "to create new rules and regulations out of whole cloth," even if that cloth is a facemask.

Governor Wolf has already appealed the Commonwealth Court's ruling. 

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

All these mandates are unconstitutional, if they want mandates, then they should have the legislature pass a law to that effect.

Anonymous said...

It's over Wolf. You saw the election results. Your days of joking about mask wearing for political theater are finally over. The cult is being raided and liberated. What a terrible experience. Counseling should be made available to its survivors.

Anonymous said...

Wolf has issues

Anonymous said...

Wolf sucks no matter what mood your in

Bernie O'Hare said...

"All these mandates are unconstitutional, if they want mandates, then they should have the legislature pass a law to that effect."

Can't believe the stupidity of some of these comments. If a mask mandate is unconstitutional, it is unconstitutional whether imposed by the Executive or Legislative branch. The court made no ruling on the state's police power, which certainly encompasses the minor inconvenience of a mask mandate. Had that been the issue, this suit would have failed.

Anonymous said...

Wolf's days are numbered thank the Lord--Hopefuuly the people of Pa, will not vote the Attorney General-who is more liberal than Wolf.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't change the fact that if you don't like wearing a mask to help others and maybe yourself, you are still a gigantic selfish pussy.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, it's pretty simple...these mandates are consistently being found illegal/unconstitutional because of the WAY they are being passed and implemented. Wolf (and Biden) are going well beyond their constitutional authority by implementing rules by executive edict, instead of passing them through the Legislature/Congress. There's a separate issue to be debated with some on whether the rule itself is unconstitutional but we never quite get there because the unconstitutional methods become the issue first.

This is a fundamental extension of what has been one of the most profound changes in politics over the last 20 years or so - politicians once looked at the numbers on each side in the legislature and determined what they felt they could pass and tried their hardest to make it happen. Now, both sides scream loudly when they are in power because the "other side" won't pass legislation/rules that are specifically designed to appeal to the radical fringe of their side. Instead of introducing legislation/rules that all could agree on, they then attempt to use executive authority to implement the radical policies that energize their base", rationalizing that "its the only way to get anything done". They don't really care that what they are doing is unconstitutional, because it usually takes months or years to be decided.

It's not one party or the other - it's the entire current political system.

Anonymous said...

Counselling for wearing cloth masks? For those who actually survived wearing cloth masks?Sweet Jesus. What a pathetic culture of way too easily triggered fucking pussies we've become.

Anonymous said...

1:45, I am not sure if you realize this, but the state and federal GOP have embraced the political strategy of refusing to do anything that might benefit people as long as Democrats run the executive branches. I'm not engaging in partisan hackery here, as they've literally said as much. The current political environment thus does not allow for serious public health measures and defaults towards GOP preference of ...nothing.

Mask mandates – if this ruling is upheld on appeal – are such a minor inconvenience that I am honestly fine with them being imposed even if unconstitutional. At this point, COVID has killed about as many Americans as the civil war did over 4 years, during which time Lincoln engaged in much more radical violations of the constitution, including the suspension of habeas corpus.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the republicans and many that hate so much have there way and ther own families start to pay the price.. and then we will see if the stupid people change there tune or just find another thing to blame instead of figuring out they are the problem. Play with fire and you might just get burned. or sometimes playing with matches you might just end up burning down your own house and your own family with it. It is happening with so many who refuse to take precautions and then bring it into their own home hurting and destroying many of their own family and friends.

Anonymous said...

You describing yourself? Clean up your language, and comment like a civilized person.

Uncle Billy said...

2016 - 2020: "Trump is a dictator, erasing our rights!"

Now: "I demand you pass mandates forcing me to get the vaccine, forcing me to wear a mask even if vaccinated, and forcing me to show a vax card to eat in a restaurant!"

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:37 - Spoken like a true partisan. If you can't also acknowledge that the Dems have had the same goal every time there was a Republican president over the last 20-25 years, you're part of the problem. State history is a little more nuanced, with a little more history of bi-partisanship, but what isn't debatable is that the current state situation has hardened where it has as a product of 'trickle down' from the overall change in national politics. Lack of ability to move to the middle on legislation and policy has now led to a lack of ability of both sides to move to the common sense middle on public health, which should be about as non-political of an issue as there can be.

In response to your specific point blaming Republicans for this situation, I personally have the following personal opinion - while the Republicans have been more blatant about their goal of blocking most or all of what the Democratic executives propose, I also think the Democrats have often been more blatant about proposing legislation and overall policy that is much further out of the mainstream views of most voters and is clearly designed to pander to their base. Given that type of legislation and policy, and the current decision of the Democratic Party to "negotiate" only with itself, there's very little opportunity right now for Republicans to support legislation and policy, even in an ideal world where they were so inclined.