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Lack of emergency order or regulation doomed mask mandate

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man with mask close-up

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The state Supreme Court is just now releasing its rationale for why it ruled that Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration had no legal authority to require masks in Pennsylvania’s schools and child care centers, even amid a pandemic and surging cases of COVID-19.

The court ruled 6-0 on Dec. 10, immediately ending the statewide mask mandate. The justices’ 58-page opinion released Thursday says the Legislature’s move in June to end Wolf’s COVID-19 emergency disaster declaration also eliminated any legal justification for a school mask mandate. The justices say state law gives the state broad authority to protect public health, but it doesn’t empower a mask mandate without a regulation.

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