In New York, face masks were required to be worn in indoor public places where there is no vaccine requirement. The maximum penalty for violating the mandate was $1,000
Justice Thomas Rademaker of Nassau County Supreme Court stated that the rule was “a law promulgated by and enacted illegally by an Executive branch State agency and is therefore null and unenforceable as a matter of law.”
Hochul’s mandate was faced with problems in enforcement from the beginning. The mandate was enforced by county health departments. Most counties refused to comply with it due to a lack of objection to the policy. The governor decided to not force counties to adhere to the mask mandate. Hochul was criticized for not wearing masks during public events.
Rademaker wrote that while the intentions of Governor Hochul and [Health] Commissioner Bassett seem to be well-intentioned to do what is right to protect New York State’s citizens, they should take their case to the state legislature.”
Rademaker pointed out in his ruling, that the governor’s ability to issue executive orders was restricted by the state legislature. Cuomo, “as well any future Governor,” were prohibited from issuing executive orders in a state emergency.
This case was the result of a lawsuit brought by parents “on behalf of all children in school” and others. In August, the New York State Department of Health issued an order to mask public schools. This ruling also lifted the mandate.
Bruce Blakeman, the Nassau County Executive, called Rademaker’s decision “a tremendous win for the people and New York State, particularly the school children.”
He said, “So many parents came up to me and said they didn’t believe it was healthy for their kids to be forced into wearing masks. They wanted that option and I agreed.”
Hochul has made it clear that he will appeal to the people.
She stated that her responsibility as Governor was to protect New Yorkers during this public health crisis. These measures prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help save lives. We strongly disagree with this decision and are exploring every avenue to reverse it immediately.
However, the State Department of Health insists that schools must continue wearing masks. It says that the appeal will result in an “automatic stay” that will restore the mask rule unambiguously until an appellate court makes a final ruling.
The department stated in a statement that schools should continue to adhere to the “mask rule”.