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Arkansas judge strikes down ban on school mask mandates, governor applauds decision

Added 12-29-21 05:17:02pm EST - “The statewide ban on school mask mandates in Arkansas was struck down by a judge Wednesday in a ruling welcomed by Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox ruled that the law Hutchinson signed in April…” - Theblaze.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Theblaze.com: “Arkansas judge strikes down ban on school mask mandates, governor applauds decision”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

The statewide ban on school mask mandates in Arkansas was struck down by a judge Wednesday in a ruling welcomed by Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox ruled that the law Hutchinson signed in April was unconstitutional on multiple grounds, the Associated Press reported. Fox said the state government's prohibition on schools and local government authorities from implementing masking requirements unlawfully discriminates between children in public and private schools. Private schools were not impacted by the mandate, which applied only to governmental bodies.

After Fox blocked the ban from taking effect in August, more than 100 public and charter schools and school districts in Arkansas imposed mask mandates.

"The ruling that Act 1002 is unconstitutional serves as a restraint against the legislative branch and helps reset the correct balance between the branches of government," the governor said in a statement.

"The ruling also makes it clear that local school boards have the authority to protect the health of students during this pandemic. I am in favor of schools and local governments having the authority to keep students and their constituents safe as we see another surge in Covid-19 cases," he said.

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