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.