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South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster. Photo: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked South Carolina's ban on mask mandates in schools, ruling that it discriminated against students with disabilities and violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Why it matters: As mask bans extend to public schools around the country, parents and disability rights activists have sounded alarm bells. The ruling may signal the outcomes of legal fights playing out across the country.

Details: A group of parents of students with disabilities, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, sued the governor last month over the ban.

  • U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis granted a request to block the ban, ruling that the state's budget provision prohibited it.
  • "No one can reasonably argue that it is an undue burden to wear a mask to accommodate a child with disabilities," Lewis wrote in her decision.
  • "The same legal authority requiring schools to have [wheelchair accessible] ramps requires that school districts have the option to compel people to wear masks at school," the judge continued.

What they're saying: "I am thankful that the Court was able to cut through the political rhetoric and ensure that South Carolina parents no longer have to choose between their child's health and education," ACLU of South Carolina director of legal advocacy Allen Chaney said in a statement.

  • The office of Gov. Henry McMaster released a statement saying: "[T]he governor strongly disagrees with the court’s decision and will defend a parent's right to decide what's best for their children up to the United States Supreme Court, if necessary."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Minneapolis and St. Paul issue indoor mask mandates amid COVID spike

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Minneapolis and St. Paul are reinstituting indoor mask mandates as the spread of Omicron fuels a recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the metro.

Driving the news: Mayors Jacob Frey and Melvin Carter announced the revived rules on Wednesday.

  • Both citywide mandates will go into effect Thursday, starting at 5pm.

Columbus City Schools, 100 other districts sue Ohio

Columbus school board member Eric Brown speaks at a news conference Tuesday about a lawsuit the district filed regarding the state's EdChoice voucher program. Photo: Andrew Welsh-Huggins/AP

Columbus City Schools (CCS) is lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against the state of Ohio, alleging its voucher system that lets students attend private schools using public money is unconstitutional.

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 2 far-right "America First" activists

The House panel investigating the Capitol riot, from left; Reps. Bennie Thompson, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger and Jamie Raskin on Capitol Hill in December. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot issued subpoenas Wednesday for far-right leaders Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey, who allegedly encouraged followers to go to D.C. and challenge the 2020 election results.

Why it matters: The action underscores the panel's increasing focus on rallies held ahead of the Capitol attack and how extremists were drawn to former President Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, per the New York Times.