🙊 The law says, yes you do have to wear that mask

This was one of the funnier legal jokes on Twitter the last few days: 

And she’s right. Despite a flurry of lawsuits regarding mask mandates, the law is fairly clear: Governments and businesses can force us to wear them.

  • Emergency orders are the key: Lindsey Wiley, a law professor at American University, told NPR that state and local governments have broad authority to enact mandates when emergencies are declared. The Supreme Court has long granted extensive power to governments during epidemics. 

  • Businesses have plenty of latitude, too: “No mask” could easily be applied to the “no shirt, no shoes, no service” rule that many businesses go by, according to legal experts in New York -- as long as the mandate doesn’t discriminate against any protected classes.  

  • Yet lawsuits are flying all over the place: Entities from grocery store chains in Pennsylvania to the local government of Orange County are being challenged.   

The legal issues with the mandates are usually in the red tape

It’s debatable which governmental body has the authority to start a mask mandate, as well as the process for implementing one. 

The Verdict

Expect more mask mandates to come over the next few weeks. And expect most of the lawsuits to be dismissed or withdrawn, as plenty of them come down to political posturing.