ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Appellate Court Judge granted a stay to keep New York’s indoor mask mandate in place as the case continues to move through the state court system. Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Thomas Rademaker ruled Gov. Kathy Hochul’s in-door mask mandate “unconstitutional” on Monday night. In response, the NYS Office of the Attorney General appealed that court decision.
“Judge Rademaker said yesterday, hey, I am not ruling on the merits of masking. What I’m ruling on is the separation of powers,” Dr. Leonard Cutler, Professor of Public Law and Political Science, said.
In the six-page ruling, Rademaker stated, “The court cannot find any law enacted by the State Legislature that specifically gives the Department of Health and its Commissioner the authority to enact a law.”
The day following Rademaker’s decision, a hearing was held in the Appellate Court to hear the Attorney General’s argument for a stay. Assistant Attorney General Judith Vale argued that it would be irresponsible to revoke the mandate and the Department of Health did have the power to enact the mandate in December 2021. “DOH has ample authority to issue this exact regulation,” she said.
After the hearing, Appellate Court Judge Hon. Robert J. Miller, issued a stay to keep New York State’s indoor mask mandate in place while the case is appealed. Miller said there is an additional hearing regarding the stay scheduled on January 28 in Brooklyn.
“As Governor, my top priority is protecting the people of this state. These measures are critical tools to prevent the spread of COVID-19, make schools and businesses safe, and save lives,” Hochul said. “I commend the Attorney General for her defense of the health and safety of New Yorkers, and applaud the Appellate Division, Second Department for siding with common sense and granting an interim stay to keep the state’s important masking regulations in place. We will not stop fighting to protect New Yorkers, and we are confident we will continue to prevail.”
You can take a look at the court documents below: