The Virginia Supreme Court this week rejected a challenge against Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s Executive Order 2, which bars schools from imposing mask mandates.
A group of 13 Chesapeake parents claimed the governor did not have the authority to stop schools from forcing their students to wear masks.
However, the court blocked the challenge on Monday due to technicalities. They ruled that the suit did not qualify under a writ of mandamus, which is reserved only for extraordinary circumstances.
Nonetheless, Youngkin and Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares are lauding the ruling as a victory.
“We are pleased by the dismissal,” Youngkin wrote on Twitter. “We will continue to protect the rights of parents to make decisions regarding their child’s health, education, upbringing, and care.”
“The Supreme Court of Virginia has rejected a challenge out of Chesapeake to [Youngkin’s] E02. This is a win for Virginia families,” Miyares tweeted.
After Youngkin signed the executive order banning school mask mandates, numerous school districts in Northern Virginia said they would not comply with the governor’s orders.
In Loudoun County, 29 students were suspended by administrators for refusing to wear masks. Initially, the maskless students were isolated in gyms and auditoriums, but were later suspended.
In Fairfax County, 24 students were also suspended for violating the mask mandates, which the schools consider part of the dress code.
Following the suspensions, Youngkin and Miyares joined a lawsuit with parents suing the Loudoun County Public Schools.
However, Arlington County Judge Louise DiMatteo, whose husband is a teacher for the county, ruled against the governor, saying that he did not have the authority to block mask mandates in schools.
Previously, former Gov. Ralph Northam, D-Va., imposed a statewide school mask mandate in August 2021 without any opposition from judicial figures.
Nonetheless, the Youngkin administration has vowed to appeal the judge’s ruling.