New York mask mandate temporarily restored by judge

New York state officials celebrated the decision.
Schoolchildren wearing masks

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul's (D) mask mandate was temporarily reinstated by an appeals judge on Tuesday, one day after a lower judge struck the COVID measure down.

New York Appellate Court Justice Robert Miller issued the state's stay request as the Hochul administration appeals the decision to remove the mask requirement.

Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Thomas Rademaker on Monday overturned the state mask mandate in public places, including schools. He wrote that the rule “was promulgated and enacted unlawfully by an executive branch state agency, and therefore void and unenforceable.” The state legislature needed to enact the mandate for it to be enforceable, Rademaker said.

Some New York schools already began to drop the mask mandate following Rademaker's decision, despite the Department of Education's demand that the requirement stay in place.

New York Attorney General Letitia James celebrated Miller's decision to reinstate the mandate. "Protecting the health of New Yorkers during the #COVID19 pandemic is our top priority," she tweeted.

"My top priority is protecting the people of this state," Gov. Hochul tweeted. "We will not stop fighting to protect New Yorkers, and we are confident we will continue to prevail."