Judge strikes down limits on powers

A District Court judge declared it was unconstitutional for the Legislature to attempt to promote "legal anarchy" in response to COVID-19 in public schools regarding mask mandates.

By

State News

July 16, 2021 - 2:16 PM

A Johnson County District Court judge’s ruling criticizes Attorney General Derek Schmidt, second from left, and the GOP-led charge to rewrite the state’s emergency management law. Photo by (May 6, 2021, photo by Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — The Legislature’s attempt to promote “legal anarchy” in response to COVID-19 precautions in public schools is unconstitutional, a Johnson County District Court judge ruled Thursday.

District Judge David Hauber also determined the entirety of Senate Bill 40 is unenforceable, effectively wiping out a Republican-led charge to restrict the governor’s oversight of emergencies. The decision is a response to novel legal challenges filed by parents upset with mask mandates and other policies in the Shawnee Mission school district.

In a 27-page ruling, Hauber relentlessly criticizes the Legislature’s disregard for due process and separation of branches of government, as well as the attorney general’s “fantastical” legal arguments.

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