Illinois Judge Dismisses Pritzker’s School Mask Mandate

By Frank Conklin, The Chicago Times

February 18, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Governor J. B. Pritzker’s appeal of a Sangamon County’s ruling over school mask mandates has been dismissed by an appellate court early on Friday.

In earlier February, a Sangamon County judge ruled that Pritzker’s mask mandate was invalid.  Pritzker appealed that ruling to Illinois’ Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals despite the expiration of the mask mandate order on Sunday.

In a stunning vote, the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules voted 9-0 to not renew the mask mandate on Tuesday.  Sources within the Governor’s Office said Pritzker was furious by the vote and was heard shouting at staffers that he is in charge and shouldn’t have to deal with other branches of government.

Before the release of the decision of Friday, a three-judge panel ruled late Thursday that Pritzker’s appeal was “moot”, citing the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules objections and suspension of the Illinois Department of Public Health’s emergency rules.

“Because the emergency rules voided by the TRO are no longer in effect, a controversy regarding the application of those rules no longer exists. Thus, the matter is moot.” the panel wrote.

In the decision, the appellate court added that school districts are free to impose mask mandates or take other steps to address COVID-19.