Arizona Supreme Court affirms court ruling against legislature’s mask mandate ban

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As we mentioned earlier, the Arizona Supreme Court today affirmed a lower court ruling that the legislature’s ban on mask mandates in schools and other non-budget-related laws were enacted illegally. Roopali Desai represented the groups who successfully challenged the ban, and we spoke with her earlier today.

The lower court ruled that this mask mandate ban and other components of the legislature were in violation of the single-subject rule.

“I am personally overjoyed at the decision from the supreme court that came out hours after the oral argument was held this morning, but more importantly for the citizens of Arizona who can know that the limitations that are in our constitution will be upheld by the court and there will be transparency and the legislature can be held to account when they break the law,” Desai said.

The state had requested that the court reach a ruling quickly, but even then it is unusual for the supreme court to reach a ruling the same day as the oral argument of the case.

The court held a caucus of justices shortly before the oral arguments, where they discussed the case and planned questions. The court’s ruling was unanimous.

“The legislature engaged in such egregious violations of the constitution that they were really throwing everything against the wall to see if it would stick,” Desai said.

The state had asked the court to reinterpret budget reconciliation to be a more broad topic, but Desai says the court didn’t buy this pivot.

“The court didn’t buy it and it shouldn’t, the reality is the legislature knows how to pass a budget without violating the constitution it’s done it for many years,” Desai said.

Roopali Desai. Attorney with Coppersmith Brockelman

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