VA Supreme Court Hands Major Victory To Youngkin, Upholds His Reversal Of Mask Mandate

The Virginia Supreme Court handed newly minted GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin a major victory on Monday, dismissing a petition to strike down an executive order that effectively ended school mask mandates.

According to Breitbart, the court ruled against a parents group in Chesapeake, Virginia who sought a writ of mandamus preventing the enforcement of the order, which allows parents and individuals to opt out of mask mandates at schools.

While the court gave “no opinion on the legality” of the “day one” executive order, it ruled a writ of mandamus is reserved for extreme circumstances.

“Mandamus is ‘an extraordinary remedy employed to compel a public official to perform a purely ministerial duty imposed upon him by law,'” the court said in its ruling.

“A petitioner must identify ‘a clear and unequivocal duty of a public official to perform the act in question.'”

“Absent an explicit command that Governor Youngkin take definite positive action in conformity with a mandatory and ministerial duty, mandamus cannot control or restrict his effort to influence school masking requirements, even if such effort is unlawful,” the court continued.

Both Gov. Youngkin and Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares — who took office in January after a GOP sweep in statewide elections last November — hailed the ruling in separate statements.

“We are pleased by the dismissal. We will continue to protect the rights of parents to make decisions regarding their child’s health, education, upbringing, and care,” Youngkin said on Twitter.

“To be clear, this is not about pro-mask vs. anti-mask, but rather parents making decisions about what’s best for their child’s health,” he added.

“And we are pleased to see that other states, including New Jersey and Delaware, are following our reasoning and a path to normalcy.”

“At the beginning of this pandemic, Governor Northam used his broad emergency powers to close places of worship, private businesses, and schools and impose a statewide mask mandate,” Miyares said in his statement.

“Nearly two years later, we have better risk mitigation strategies and vaccines, and we know much more about the efficacy of requiring children to wear masks all day.

“We agree with the Court’s decision and will continue to defend the Executive Order. This is a victory for Virginia families.”

The order has been bitterly attacked by liberals and liberal media sources, however.

The ACLU is currently suing the state over ending mask mandates, arguing children with pre-existing conditions would be put at risk. Meanwhile, The Washington Post let readers know what they thought about the executive order with a much-derided headline about the suit: “ACLU challenges Youngkin order mandating choice on school masks.”

Thanks to Monday’s ruling, though, it remains safe to “mandate choice” in Virginia schools for the moment.