A New York state Supreme Court judge on Monday struck down Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul’s mask mandate for schools and public locations.
“There can be no question that every person in this State wishes, wants and prays that this era of COVID ends soon and they will surely do their part to see that is accomplished,” Judge Thomas Rademaker said in the ruling. “However, enacting any laws to this end is entrusted solely to the State Legislature. 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.”
Hochul’s mask mandate was “violative of the State Administrative Procedure Act as promulgated and enacted and therefore null, void, and unenforceable as a matter of law,” the judge wrote, adding that it was also “violative of the Public Health Law as promulgated and enacted and therefore null, void, and unenforceable as a matter of law.”
Hochul responded by saying in a statement that her “responsibility as Governor is to protect New Yorkers throughout this public health crisis” and claiming that her mask mandate would “help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.”
She added, “We strongly disagree with this ruling, and we are pursuing every option to reverse this immediately.”
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), who is running to replace Hochul as the state’s governor, praised the ruling in a statement while also taking a shot at Hochul:
We did it! A New York State Supreme Court Judge just ruled the Hochul Administration’s statewide mask mandate as unconstitutional and a violation of New York State law. Honored to have fought side by side with small business owners, parents, elected officials like Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and so many others in fighting for common sense, freedom, and the full science as opposed to just partial science.
Just yesterday, I heard a taxpayer funded Public Service Announcement featuring a medical expert telling the public that the CDC no longer recommends the use of cloth masks. However, Governor Kathy Hochul has continued to force New York children as young as 2-years-old to be masked up all day long two years into a pandemic that has harmed kids physically, developmentally, mentally and emotionally. Enough, and it’s not just in our schools. The overreach of this statewide mask mandate that relies on partial science rather than all of it has been very widely and adversely felt throughout New York.
While Hochul refers to New Yorkers as her ‘apostles’ and compares having to wear a mask all day long to wearing sneakers, the fact is that New Yorkers know best, despite the Governor’s ‘Hochul knows best’ arrogance.
🚨NOW: NY Supreme Court just STRUCK DOWN Hochul Admin's statewide mask mandate. Honored to have fought with small biz owners, parents, electeds like @NassauExec & many more for common sense, freedom & science. New Yorkers know best despite the Gov's "Hochul knows best" arrogance. pic.twitter.com/GJpgORXMvm
— Lee Zeldin (@leezeldin) January 24, 2022
Related: ‘They Adapt Better Than Adults Do’: NY Gov Hochul Defends Mask Mandates For Kids
This report has been updated to include additional information.