A New York judge declared Monday night that the state’s policy to use masks indoors in public places was illegal, and this morning Attorney General Letitia James announced that she will appeal the decision that left without effect the executive order of Governor Kathy Hochul.
Hochul issued the order last December 10, when the cases of Omicron began to increase at the beginning of winter, with a validity of one month, although the Health Department extended it until February 1.
“We’re appealing last night’s decision that struck down the mask mandate in New York,” James indicated in a tweet today.
The case now goes to the state’s Court of Appeals.
NY Supreme Court Justice Thomas Rademaker, who declared the mask mandate illegal, noted that such an order is within the power of the legislature (in this case the state of New York) because the governor no longer has the powers granted to the executive during the pandemic.
Last March, the New York Assembly immediately suspended all pandemic executive prerogatives held by then-Governor Andrew Cuomo that were set to expire on April 30 and retained only the directives already in place for a period of 30 days.
“While the intentions of Commissioner Bassett (New York state health chief) and Governor Hochul appear to be well aimed squarely at doing what they believe is the right to protect the citizens of New York State, they must take their case to the State Legislature,” the judge stated in his decision.