NY’s mask mandate overturned by judge


NEW YORK – Governor Hochul’s mandate requiring masks to be worn in all indoor public places was overturned by State Supreme Court Judge Thomas Rademaker on Monday.  The case was heard in Mineola on Long Island.


The Hochul order, set to expire on February 1, is unenforceable, according to the court.  Judge Rademaker ruled that the State Health Department did not have the authority to issue the mandate, indicating that the state legislature is the only body with authority to issue a mandate.


Hochul issued a statement Monday saying her responsibility as governor “is to protect New Yorkers throughout this public health crisis, and these measures help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. We strongly disagree with this ruling, and we are pursuing every option to reverse this immediately.”


Hochul, citing rising COVID infection rates, had ordered that anyone two-years-old and over be required to wear a mask in all indoor public places.  Businesses and venues had the option to require all patrons to be fully vaccinated, with proof, and, in that case, would not have to enforce mask-wearing.

Violators faced fines of up to $1,000, but the penalty would apply to the venue operator and not the individual caught unmasked or unvaccinated.