This ruling applies to public health departments’ overreach in issuing discretionary orders or rules without a governing statute giving them the authority to do so. This is administrative law 101, so the decision is hardly surprising.

Notably, what Judge Green doesn’t speak to in his decision (and what you seem to be misunderstanding) is whether school boards have the authority to set rules and regulations for the schools in their district boundaries, including mask mandates. On this question once again, there is no debate. Missouri law grants wide authority to school boards to establish policies and guidelines to ensure the health and safety of students, staff and families. School boards can enforce quarantines to limit the spread of communicable diseases (RSMO 167.191), they can enforce dress codes (RSMO 167.029), and to work with DHS in enforcing vaccine mandates to attend school (RSMO 161.181), among other things. The statutory authority for school boards to enact mask mandates is clear, and Judge Green’s ruling didn’t change this.

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This is what The School District of Clayton told me: “In the interest of clarity, our legal counsel advised us that a trial court's order does not become final until 30 days after it's issued, and then the parties to the case have 10 days in which to appeal. Therefore, the order the AG is referencing does not become final until at least December 23rd. (30 days after it was issued).

We plan to continue enforcing our masking guidelines at least until December 23rd. If the District decides to make any changes, will be sure to send a communication to the community.”

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