Virginia Republican Governor. Glenn Youngkin won Monday’s victory when the Virginia Supreme Court rejected a petition to end his school-based mask mandate ban.
A group of Virginia parents launched the petition asking for a writ to mandamus. The petition sought to have Youngkin’s executive orders, which blocked the enforcement of masking in Virginia schools invalidated, essentially. Instead, the court offered no opinion on Youngkin’s executive orders and ruled that a mandamus writ can only be used in exceptional circumstances.
“Today, Governor Youngkin’s Executive Order Number 2 was rejected by the Supreme Court of Virginia,” Miyares said in a statement that the Governor and I were pleased with today’s ruling.
Miyares stated how Governor Northam used his wide emergency powers to close places for worship, private businesses, and schools. Nearly two years later we have better risk mitigation strategies, vaccines, as well as much more information about the effectiveness of requiring children to wear masks every day.
Youngkin stated that the executive order was not about anti-mask, but rather about giving families the option of what to do with their children.
Youngkin tweeted, “To be clear this isn’t about pro-mask or anti-mask but rather parents making decisions regarding what’s best to their child’s well-being.” We are happy to see that New Jersey and Delaware are following our reasoning, and are on a path towards normalcy.
Kevin Martingayle was the attorney who filed the petition on behalf of the Chesapeake parents. He said that the fight is far from over.
Virginia passed a law last year that required schools to follow CDC guidelines to “maximum extent practicable.” However, this law expires in August. Youngkin has more time to push his executive orders for fall.
Youngkin, left-dominated schools systems, and teachers’ union are currently in litigation over who decides under Virginia law which measures are “practicable”. Miyares pointed this week out in a court file that while the CDC recommended that children ages 5 and over be vaccinated; however, not a single Virginia school system has adopted that requirement. Therefore, state officials have greater leeway than schools’ court filings to reject CDC recommendations.
A temporary injunction was issued by an Arlington County judge last week to stop Youngkin from issuing his executive order. The case continues. Youngkin and Miyares vowed to appeal this decision and appeal it to the Virginia Supreme Court.