Feb 7, 2022 - Health

Virginia Supreme Court dismisses parents' lawsuit against Youngkin's school mask order

Picture of Glenn Youngkin

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Virginia Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a lawsuit from Chesapeake parents against Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) for his order making mask-wearing optional in schools.

Why it matters: Judges wrote that they couldn't issue writs of mandamus and prohibit the Chesapeake School Board from making masks optional, because such relief cannot be issued in the case. But they made clear they aren't ruling on the legality of the case, potentially leaving the door open for future litigation.

  • The ruling does not affect a previous decision from an Arlington judge who ruled last week that Youngkin’s order goes against the Virginia constitution and state law, per the Washington Post.

Catch up fast: Youngkin signed 11 executive orders last month after his inauguration, including one that overturned Virginia's mask mandate for public schools arguing that masks are "ineffective," despite a broad array of research showing that masks significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19.

What they're saying: "The Governor and I are pleased with today’s ruling," said Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares.

  • Miyares said former Gov. Ralph Northam (D) "used his broad emergency powers to close places of worship, private businesses, and schools and impose a statewide mask mandate."

Be smart: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of masks in indoor spaces by all students, staff, teachers and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.

Editor's note: This story was updated to include additional details.

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