Court ends Pennsylvania school mask mandate, could New Jersey be next?

3 mins read

Photo 121679618 © Anastasi21 | child wearing face mask covid-19

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s school mask mandate has been overturned by a Pennsylvania court.

According to the Associated Press, “Commonwealth Court sided 4-1 with the ranking Republican in the state Senate and others who sued to challenge the masking order that took effect in early September as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.”

That decision was then put on hold as Democrats in the state filed an appeal.

Now, New Jersey Republicans are clamoring for the same. Instead of taking Governor Phil Murphy to court, they are simply asking the governor to remove the mandate in the Garden State.

“I think Pennsylvania courts made the right decision in striking down the Wolf administration’s school mask mandate after taking the time to conduct a thorough legal review,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “Hopefully the Pennsylvania ruling will put more scrutiny on Governor Murphy’s mask mandates here in New Jersey and lead to their repeal. We believe masking decisions should be made by parents, not government.”

Pennacchio has consistently pushed for the Legislature to limit Governor Murphy’s ability to issue open-ended executive orders and fought against mask mandates for school children and toddlers as young as two years of age in child care settings.

In July, Pennacchio chaired an independent hearing where medical experts, school officials, parents, and advocates discussed how science, data, and experience supported the case for unmasking New Jersey children.

The Pennsylvania court ruled that Governor Wolf’s school mask mandate was voided and unenforceable immediately. In the days prior to the ruling, Wolf had said he expected to allow local school officials to make decisions on modifying or ending mask mandates starting in January.

While Governor Murphy refuses to say when he might loosen control on masks for kids in New Jersey, his current school mask mandate expires on January 11.

“We think Governor Murphy should lift his mask mandates on children today,” Pennacchio added. “That’s what parents want and it’s what drove voters to the polls to take seats from Democrats and school board members who refused to push back. It would be tone-deaf for the Murphy administration to do anything else.”