News & Politics

Illinois Judge Strikes Down State's Mask Mandate

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File

An Illinois judge from downstate Sangamon County issued a temporary restraining order against schools enforcing the state’s mask mandate.

Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Raylene DeWitte Grischow said the mandates violate the plaintiffs’ “due process rights under the law which provide them a meaningful opportunity to object to any such mitigations.”

That said, the reaction — or “overreaction” — by mask proponents was predictable.

The teachers’ unions are threatening to close down the schools. The Chicago teachers’ union is threatening to strike — again. Governor J.B. Pritzker, running hard for re-election and basing his campaign on the state’s catastrophic response to the pandemic, which he claims wasn’t so bad after all, made it seem as if ending the mask mandate was a death sentence.

“The grave consequence of this misguided decision is that schools in these districts no longer have sufficient tools to keep students and staff safe while COVID-19 continues to threaten our communities – and this may force schools to go remote,” said Pritzker.

Begging your pardon, governor, but ending the mandate doesn’t mean that you can’t wear a mask if you want to. Why is that simple concept so hard for the left to understand?

ABC7:

“This decision has the potential to shut our schools down, effectively closing our school buildings and perhaps being potent enough to stop in person learning altogether,” the Illinois Education Association said in a statement. “The teacher and education employee shortage is at a crisis level. Schools are shutting down because they do not have enough healthy employees to safely hold classes even though staff continue to give up their plan time and lunches to cover classes.”

Don’t these people listen to themselves? “Schools are shutting down because they do not have enough healthy employees to safely hold classes.” And that’s with the mandate! How much worse can it get? If they’re wearing masks now and are still testing positive, what good has the mandate done?

The Chicago Teachers Union issued a statement on the ruling Saturday, saying they expect Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools to “act responsibly” and uphold their agreement to require masks at school and provide KN95 masks for every adult and child.

“We should not have to fight every inch for basic protection, but such are the times in which we live, where the few can trump the safety of the many,” CTU said in a statement.

CPS later released a statement saying the court’s ruling does not prohibit the school district from continuing its COVID-19 mitigation policies and procedures, including universal masking, and that the district “will stay the course.”

The last time I looked, a union contract does not trump the law. The teachers are full of it and they know it. If some enterprising student or parent sues the city about the union’s mandate, any judge who respects the law would eliminate the mandate.

Finding an elected Democratic judge in Chicago who respects the law? That might take some doing.

“The school districts need to really listen and say we need to rethink what we’re doing here,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Tom DeVore.

Attorney Tom DeVore represents hundreds of Illinois students and parents and several dozen teachers across more than 150 districts, including CPS and some suburban school systems who filed suit against the state’s school mandates for vaccination, testing, and masking.

In truth, once the case reaches an appellate court, it will be reversed. But the case was indicative of just how badly the government wants to exert control over its citizens. People are getting sick with the masks and without them. But we should be forced to wear masks anyway?

Something is very wrong with that picture.