The ongoing fight over masks in Illinois Schools escalated quickly in the last 24 hours.
Governor J.B. Pritzker will now take the mask mandate question to the Illinois Supreme Court after his appeal of a Sangamon County Judge’s ruling blocking mask mandates in Illinois schools was dismissed by an appellate court.
Late last night the three-judge panel of the Fourth District Appellate Court ruled the appeal was not relevant, saying the emergency rules “are no longer in effect, a controversy regarding the application of those rules no longer exists. Thus, the matter is moot.”
In a statement released the morning, Pritzker said he’s disappointed in the appellate court’s decision and his administration is “working with the Attorney General to request an expedited review of this decision from the Supreme Court.”
He says, “in the meantime, the Governor urges everyone to continue following the doctors’ advice to wear masks so students can remain safely learning in classrooms, and is encouraged that the court made it clear that school districts can continue to keep their own mitigations in place.”
On Wednesday, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, or JCAR struck down an attempt by the Illinois Department of Public Health to re-up the mask mandate for schools across the entire state.
The suit was filed in Sangamon County by Greenville Attorney Thomas DeVore, who looks to broaden his fight against mask mandates for school children, as he is now soliciting plaintiffs in consideration for a possible suit against the mask requirement on school buses.
DeVore says in his call for plaintiffs, that his firm has a different interpretation of the federal mandate requiring masks to be worn on all means of public transportation, and he intends to file suit to have the mandate removed from public school buses.