HARRISBURG – Senate Education Committee Chairman Scott Martin (R-13) applauded the Supreme Court’s decision today to overturn Pennsylvania’s unconstitutional school mask mandate.
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court reaffirms what I’ve said from the beginning – Gov. Tom Wolf and his administration had no authority to order a school mask mandate without an emergency declaration in place,” Sen. Martin said. “As should’ve been the case all along, parents should make decisions about the health and wellbeing of their own children, free from the threat of executive overreach or misguided government bureaucrats who think they know best.”
On Aug. 31, acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam announced a statewide mask order for all schools, despite the General Assembly’s termination of the COVID-19 emergency declaration nearly three months prior.
Schools, parents, and Legislative Republicans filed suit in Commonwealth Court in September to block the order on the grounds that Beam lacked the authority to issue statewide mandates without an emergency declaration. The administration, relying on a decades-old public health law and contrived constitutional interpretations, also thwarted attempts to vet the order through the state’s regulatory process.
The lower court agreed that Beam and the administration couldn’t act unilaterally without an emergency order in place. On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed that decision, vacating the state mask mandate once and for all.
“This is a victory for all Pennsylvanians, who for too long have suffered under the weight of the governor’s one-size-fits-all policies,” Martin said. “Our freedom isn’t subject to one governor’s whims and today’s ruling affirms that.”
CONTACT: Terry Trego, 717-787-6535