Arizona public schools bring mask fight to court

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In June, the Arizona state legislature made it illegal for Arizona public schools to mandate the wearing of masks. Now, some public schools are pushing back in court as the school year begins. Danny Adelman is the executive director of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest and joined us to discuss the issue.

Adelman began by explaining that much of what was drafted into law in June by the state legislature cannot begin to be effective immediately. Because there wasn’t an “emergency provision” added to the bill and it did not reach two-thirds of a vote on the floor, it cannot be effective immediately. Adelman said that this applies to the mask mandate ban that was included in the state budget.

He also said that, pertaining to his lawsuit against the state, there are civil protections within the constitution that they’re relying on. One of which is called the “single subject rule”, which among other things dictates that any bill has to state its purpose in its title.

“What the constitution is meant to prevent is cobbling together a bunch of unrelated things, putting pressure on people to vote for this unpopular thing in order to gain the passage of other things that might be good and necessary,” Adelman said. “So that’s exactly what happened at the end of the legislative session.”

The executive director said that because we’re currently living with the Delta variant and viral spread is occurring between youth, they believe that the health of young people is at risk.

Adelman said that the response of the legislators to his lawsuit is “nonsense”. “Asking the legislature to follow the Arizona constitution and a provision that is specifically geared towards the legislature? That’s not anarchy.” He views the lawsuit as confronting the abuse of power.

Danny Adelman, executive director, Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest

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