A New York City judge Friday ordered the city to stop enforcing its “Toddler Mask Mandate”, calling it arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.
The Brooklyn lawyer who litigated pro bono (latin for “free’) on behalf of ten parents announced the result in a Twitter post.
“We won!” said attorney Michael Chessa. “Judge Porzio just ruled in the favor of parental choice and democracy. He found the Toddler Mask Mandate to be arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.”
“Effective immediately, the policy is void and unenforceable.
Richmond County Supreme Court Judge Ralph Porzio issued his permanent injunction Friday, forbidding NYC from mandating young children to wear masks. Within hours, the city’s atorneys informed Chessa that they had filed a notice of claim, asking the Appellate Division to issue immediate relief in the form of a “stay” that would put the mandate injunction on hold.
“They want to put the mask back on kids as soon as possible,” Chessa said in a Friday phone call. “They don’t want to come out of it, even.”
The fast-developing saga is not an April Fool’s joke.. In fact, the victorious attorney said the Mayor and Health Commissioner’s actions were the real April Fool’s joke. He noted the city officials have announced plans to continue requiring young children to wear masks in schools and day cares despite the court ruling against them. The decision is opposite what NYC Mayor Eric Adams declared on the city’s website on March 22.
“It’s now been two weeks since we removed the mask mandate for K-12 public school children, and our percent positivity in schools has, thankfully, remained low,” Mayor Adams noted. “Each day, we review the data, and if we continue to see low levels of risk, then, on Monday, April 4, we will make masks optional for 2-4 year old children in schools and daycare settings.”
Adams made his statement shortly after the city’s Commissioner for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said the masks were going to be required “indefinitely”.
“We don’t know who’s really driving the ship,” observed Chessa, who takes the opposing messages as a signal the mask mandates are the regulatory baby of the Health Department.
He added that is the basis for the lawsuit because it’s inappropriate for an unelected city official to pass regulations that carry such impact for citizens. The attorney opined that is the purview of legislators, not commissioners.
Chessa explained he became interested in the issue as a father before he became interested as an attorney. “I’m the dad of a 2, 3 and 15-year-old and they are in public schools,” the lawyer said. He added his two-year-old daughter is not currently in day care because he didn’t want her to have to be in a mask all day.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.