Missouri AG threatens to sue school districts, health departments for enforcing mask mandates

Missouri

A student gets help with his mask from transitional kindergarten teacher Annette Cuccarese during the first day of classes at Tustin Ranch Elementary School in Tustin, Calif. Now that California schools have welcomed students back to in-person learning, they face a new challenge: A shortage of teachers and all other staff, the likes of which some districts say they’ve never seen. (Paul Bersebach/The Orange County Register via AP, File)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt warned public health departments and school districts that they need to stop enforcing mask mandates.

Schmitt sent letters Tuesday morning to health agencies and school districts informing them of a decision by Missouri’s Cole County Circuit Court. The letter said that the ruling determined mask mandates, quarantines, and other public health orders are illegal.

“Public health authorities and school districts have gone unchecked, issuing illegal and unconstitutional orders in their quest to aggregate, maintain, and exert their new-found power,” Schmitt said. “My Office will enforce the Court’s order across the state.”
 
The letters argue that health orders, mask mandates, quarantine orders, or similar orders issued are null and void because of the judgment, and should not be enforced or publicized.
 
“You should stop enforcing and publicizing any such orders immediately. Failure to follow the court’s judgment may result in enforcement action against you to remove orders the court has determined are unconstitutional and illegal.  We encourage you to take immediate action to remove all unconstitutional and illegal orders,” Schmitt wrote in the letter to health departments across the state.

Schmitt also pointed out that state law does not allow school districts to issue their own mask mandates, quarantine requirements, or other orders.

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