Update (1710ET): It looks like the New York Democrats led by Gov. Kathy Hochul have succeeded in protecting their precious mask mandates - for now, at least.
NY AG Letitia James announced Tuesday afternoon shortly after the end of the market day that a judge had granted the government's request for a stay while they look to appeal the ruling from the State Supreme Court.
A judge has granted our motion to keep New York's mask mandate in place while our appeal process continues.— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) January 25, 2022
Protecting the health of New Yorkers during the #COVID19 pandemic is our top priority. https://t.co/MVwlzzNPlQ
Not that NYC had planned to obey the justice's decision anyway. During a radio appearance on Tuesday morning, NYC Mayor Eric Adams said that he would order the mask mandate must continue to be observed in the city's schools for the public's safety - or so he said. He also labeled the court's ruling "unfortunate". The so-called "Hochul rule" required that masks be worn in public schools.
"I believe it’s unfortunate that it was struck down, and I believe those jurisdictions that are using it as an opportunity to remove mandates are making a big mistake. We need to follow the science, not the fears that is actually coming with this virus," he said on 1010 WINS.
It's just one more reason for anybody fed up with the Empire State's strict COVID restrictions to seriously consider seeking greener pastures, perhaps in a state with a much lower (or even non-existent) income tax.
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In a decision that will likely be welcomed by many New York parents and schoolchildren, along with the countless workers, consumers and tourists in the Empire State, the Supreme Court of New York struck down Gov. Kathy Hochul's statewide mask mandate. In its ruling, the court declared the mask mandate "unconstitutional" and "null, void and unenforceable".
New York State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Rademaker of Nassau County wrote in his opinion explaining the decision that the governor doesn't have the authority to impose the mandate since the "emergency powers" once wielded by her predecessor, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, are no longer in place.
Without the assent of the legislature, the Court determined that the governor doesn't have the ability to order masks mandates, although the circumstances would be different if emergency powers granted by lawmakers were still in effect.
The ruling goes: "While the intentions of Commissioner Bassett and Governor Hochul appear to be well-aimed squarely at doing what they believe is right to protect the citizens of New York State, they must take their case to the State Legislature."
In response to the ruling, Gov. Hochul said the following: "My responsibility as Governor is to protect New Yorkers throughout this public health crisis, and these measures help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. We strongly disagree with this ruling, and we are pursuing every option to reverse this immediately."
Put another way, Gov. Hochul says she doesn't care about the legal precedent, and will do everything in her power to continue enforcing the mandate.
State Supreme Court decision.— Wolfie (@Ligma32) January 25, 2022
Response from the Governor…. We don’t care and we will break the law to get our way.
Leave New York as fast as you can….
We wonder how the Empire State's business community feels about the governor's pledge to find a way around the ruling?