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Noem and Florida Judge Agree: Banning School Mask Mandates Oversteps Governor’s Authority

Once again pretending she’s a civics teacher instead of a Governor, Presidential candidate Kristi Noem once uses her weekly propaganda column to justify her do-nothing deathwish approach to the coronavirus pandemic as principled “conservatism“. She lashes governors who have “declare[d] that they have sweeping powers to ban activities” for forgetting “the principle that the proper powers of government are limited, even (and especially) during a crisis.”

Surely she’s speaking here of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, whose order banning schools from requiring students to wear masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus was thrown out in court yesterday. Circuit Judge John Cooper said Governor DeSantis overstepped his proper powers:

Judge John Cooper ruled on a lawsuit brought by parents who say DeSantis overstepped his authority when his administration said school districts couldn’t order students to wear masks.

…Ruling from the bench at the conclusion of a five-day trial, Cooper said that face mask mandates that follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are “reasonable and consistent with the best scientific and medical opinion in this country.” He found that the DeSantis administration violated the law when it banned school districts from requiring masks.

…Cooper said that in issuing the executive order and rules banning face mask mandates, DeSantis ignored a provision of the law that said school districts are allowed to take actions that are “reasonable and necessary to achieve a compelling state interest” [Greg Allen and Russell Lewis, “Florida Judge Throws Out Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Order Prohibiting School Mask Mandates,” NPR, 2021.08.27].

Judge Cooper and Governor Noem are right: governors should absolutely not overstep their authority and prevent local officials from implementing sensible, scientifically proven measures to protect the health of their communities.


  1. cibvet 2021-08-28 11:34

    The only decision your governor makes is which venue is most likely to massage her ego and applaud her misinformation campaign. She speaks so much crap, that is probably the reason for the shortage of toilet paper.

  2. Amy B. 2021-08-28 12:04

    DeSantis is getting eviscerated over his mask bans and Kristi Noem sees that. So her and her sidekicks are backing away from the saying the same thing. If those bans were being praised and had a huge backing, she would be doing the same thing. She’s an opportunist and has no doubt seen her approval in state falling. She needs us to win re-election…so until election time we are going to be force fed self serving lip service and propaganda curtesy of the governor and all of the out of state flunkies she’s hired to help her.

  3. Donald Pay 2021-08-28 13:37

    South Dakota state law [] and regulation [] provide ample authority for the SD executive branch to impose mask mandates, or other measures. Powers are limited to those necessary to control the communicable disease. That’s a hell of a lot of leeway.

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-08-28 13:38

    Yes, Amy, that’s how she dodged responsibility last year, too. She has left local governments to face the wrath of uninformed local radicals, without offering them any rhetorical support and darned little reliable data.

    And cibvet, yes, everything she says is finely tuned to maximize her chances in 2024. She’s not governing; she’s campaigning.

  5. O 2021-08-28 14:48

    “the principle that the proper powers of government are limited, even (and especially) during a crisis.”

    That one I really bumped into. During EVERY crisis I can think of (any crisis that threatened the pocketbook of the affluent at least), there was a cry to any and all levels of government to step in and help. It does however lend to the trend of conservatives to only legislate when there is only an invented culture war issue — not a crisis — to chase.

  6. Mark Anderson 2021-08-28 17:25

    Come on Amy, you know DeSantis is still America’s shortstop. I don’t think the RINO now a Democrat can beat him anyway. It’s just sick beyond belief that pubs running for office now think killing people in the name of freedom is OK. Even if it’s a nuanced killing.

  7. Yvonne 2021-08-29 09:51

    STOP making a mockery of the “Lord” and “GOD” of whom those of us who freely have the right to believe in their reverance.
    Therefore the LORD said, “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men…Isaiah 29:13.
    People in political authority and, yes, even the rest of us flattering God with their tongues, but their hearts are not really in what they are doing. Reverence for God, then, is merely an intellectual accommodation intended to appease God. They act as if God cannot see right through them! It shows how far off-base and carnal they are in their thinking.

    They use the name of God and/or the Lord frequently, undoubtedly claiming that they trust him. As Jesus would say: You Hippocrites!
    All of our coins and paper money read, “In God We Trust.” Yet, the people filling this nation with lying, stealing, murder, adultery, fornication, coveting, Sabbath-breaking, and idolatry, all the while giving the Lord and God lip service with their mouths—talking the talk but not walking the walk. This is why God says, “Your heart is divided. It is deceitful. You talk so smoothly, but your heart is false.”

  8. grudznick 2021-08-29 10:06

    Your god drowned in a bowl of cereal, Ms. Yvonne.

  9. Yvonne 2021-08-29 19:37

    Grudzy. Ouch….you are still loved.

  10. Porter Lansing 2021-08-29 19:58

    Ms. Yvonne …

    grudznike’s father had a stroke and died face down in a bowl of food.

    He was grudz’s God and grudz has been a bitter soul, ever since.

    He is, of course, loved by Jesus.

  11. grudznick 2021-08-29 20:54

    Indeed, Ms. Yvonne. grudznick has been voted the most loved Conservative with Common Sense at this here blog for over 5 years running.

  12. Lottie 2021-09-01 21:27

    If Only Some people let Science Help Guide them, we all would be Better off. Amen.

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