Virginia’s top court rejected a challenge from parents objecting to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s order calling for parents to be able to choose whether their child wears a mask at school.
Background: On his first day in office, Republican Virginia Gov. Youngkin signed a series of 11 executive orders among which he repealed his predecessor’s mandatory school mask mandate.
A group of parents from the Chesapeake area filed a lawsuit against the court to block the order, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance in relation to mask-wearing in schools, according to CBS affiliate WDBJ. (per The Hill)
What Happened: On Monday, Virginia’s Supreme Court voted to dismiss the parents’ challenge.
“By this dismissal, we offer no opinion on the legality of EO 2 or any other issue pertaining to petitioners’ claims,” the court wrote in a footnote.
What Youngkin Says: Gov. Youngkin celebrated the dismissal on Twitter.
“We are pleased by the dismissal. We will continue to protect the rights of parents to make decisions regarding their child’s health, education, upbringing, and care,” Youngkin wrote to Twitter.
What Attorney General Miyares Says: In a statement, Virginia AG Miyares also celebrated the Court’s ruling.
“Today, the Supreme Court of Virginia rejected a challenge out of the City of Chesapeake to Governor Youngkin’s Executive Order Number 2. The Governor and I are pleased with today’s ruling. At the beginning of this pandemic, Governor Northam used his broad emergency powers to close places of worship, private businesses, and schools and impose a statewide mask mandate,” Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares said in a statement.
“Nearly two years later, we have better risk mitigation strategies and vaccines, and we know much more about the efficacy of requiring children to wear masks all day. We agree with the Court’s decision and will continue to defend the Executive Order. This is a victory for Virginia families.”
Context: The Court delivered the ruling the same day that two Democrat-led states announced ends to their own school mask mandates.