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.”

Gov. Hochul ordered the mandate last month amid a flurry of new restrictions ordered by various states. President Biden has seen SCOTUS and another federal judge overrule his vaccination mandates.

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.

We wonder how the Empire State’s business community feels about the governor’s pledge to find a way around the ruling?


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