Va. appeals mask ruling for 12 immunocompromised students

Virginia is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that favored the families of 12 immunocompromised students, who filed a lawsuit claiming the commonwealth’s mask-optional law violates their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Attorney General Jason Miyares, Superintendent Jillian Balow, and acting health commissioner Colin Greene on Friday filed a notice of appeal that they would challenge Judge Norman Moon’s ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth District, in Richmond.

Moon’s ruling stated that although SB739 — based on Youngkin’s Executive Order 2 — is law in Virginia, the conditions of the law preclude the 12 students who filed suit from the ability to seek masking under the ADA.

Moon’s March ruling for injunctive relief said Virginia could not enforce the mask law against the 12 families involved in the suit filed by the ACLU.

However, Moon’s ruling made clear the state’s mask law continues to apply to all other students.

“This is not a class action, and the twelve plaintiffs in this case have no legal right to ask the Court to deviate from that state law in any schools in Virginia (much less school districts) their children do not attend, or indeed even those areas of their schools in which Plaintiffs’ children do not frequent,” Moon wrote.

Asked to detail the basis for the appeal, Miyares’ spokeswoman Victoria LaCivita declined to comment on the pending litigation.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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