Mask Mandates

5th Circuit Temporarily Restores Greg Abbott's Ban on School Mask Mandates

The appeals court is skeptical of the claim that the Texas governor's order illegally discriminates against people with disabilities.

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit last week temporarily restored Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's ban on face mask mandates in public schools, signaling that it is skeptical of the argument that his executive order violates federal laws prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities. The decision does not bode well for that argument, which Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona has embraced, suggesting that federal COVID-19 guidelines for K–12 schools are effectively mandatory.

In response to a lawsuit by the parents of seven students with various disabilities, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel last month enjoined Texas from enforcing GA-38, the July 29 order in which Abbott said "no governmental entity" may "require any person to wear a face covering." Yeakel agreed that the order unlawfully forced the students to choose between staying home or risking COVID-19 infection by attending school. The 5th Circuit imposed a stay on Yeakel's injunction pending appeal, saying the plaintiffs lacked standing, had failed to exhaust administrative remedies, and in any case probably could not succeed in arguing that the ban on face mask mandates amounted to illegal discrimination.

Because the seven students have disabilities that make them especially vulnerable to COVID-19, Yeakel concluded, they are entitled to accommodations addressing that risk. By taking mask requirements off the table, he said, Abbott's order ran afoul of the Rehabilitation Act, which bans discrimination against people with disabilities in federally funded programs, and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which applies more broadly to state and local governments as well as places of public accommodation.

The 5th Circuit is inclined to disagree, saying the plaintiffs "likely" failed to show an "injury in fact," a threshold requirement for bringing their lawsuit. "Plaintiffs may well allege particularized harm given that each of them alleges a disability that leaves them particularly vulnerable during the pandemic," the unanimous three-judge panel says. "But they likely falter in showing any concrete, or actual or imminent, injury as a result of the enforcement of GA-38."

The plaintiffs argued that Abbott's order effectively deprives them of in-person instruction because that would entail unacceptable risks unless students and staff are required to wear masks. "Plaintiffs have not shown that they face such an 'either/or' choice as a result of GA-38, and the district court's conclusion that they do was likely erroneous," the 5th Circuit says. "The risks of contracting COVID-19 for these plaintiffs are certainly real, but the alleged injury to plaintiffs from the enforcement of GA-38 is, at this point, much more abstract. This is so because the binary choice envisioned by the district court—either stay home or catch COVID-19—is a false one: it wholly elides the various accommodations available to the plaintiffs (e.g., distancing, voluntary masking, class spacing, plexiglass, and vaccinations) to ensure a safer learning environment, regardless of GA-38's prohibition of local mask mandates."

In addition to demonstrating a "concrete" injury, the plaintiffs have to show that the injury is "actual or imminent." The appeals court notes that "[i]ncreased-risk claims—even when they are particularized—often cannot satisfy the 'actual or imminent' requirement." It quotes a 2007 opinion that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote as a D.C. Circuit judge. "Much government regulation slightly increases a citizen's risk of injury—or insufficiently decreases the risk compared to what some citizens might prefer," Kavanaugh observed. "Opening the courthouse to these kinds of increased-risk claims would drain the 'actual or imminent' requirement of meaning [and] expand the 'proper—and properly limited'—constitutional role of the Judicial Branch beyond deciding actual cases or controversies."

Another threshold requirement for the lawsuit is that the remedy sought by the plaintiffs actually would address the injury they claim. But in this case, the 5th Circuit notes, barring enforcement of the ban on mask requirements would not necessarily cause school districts to impose them, since that decision would be left to their discretion.

Yeakel concluded that the plaintiffs' claims under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act were distinct from their claims under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which requires "a free appropriate public education" for students with disabilities. That determination was crucial, because IDEA requires that plaintiffs pursue administrative remedies before filing a lawsuit, and there was no evidence that the plaintiffs in this case had done that.

As the 5th Circuit notes, the plaintiffs' argument, broadly construed, implies that "any plaintiff could insist upon a mask mandate at any public facility"—including libraries, theaters, and other private businesses—"or assert an ADA or Rehabilitation Act claim based on the entity's failure to impose one." But the court says their main claim is not so sweeping.

"The plaintiffs at base allege something very particular: the deprivation of an in-person state-sponsored education because of their risk of contracting COVID-19 without a mask mandate," the 5th Circuit notes. That allegation looks like an IDEA claim. "Because IDEA likely applies," the court says, "and because nothing in the record establishes that plaintiffs pursued any administrative remedies before filing suit, the district court likely lacked jurisdiction over their claims for this reason as well."

The 5th Circuit adds that "the record is devoid of evidence that plaintiffs have made any requests for reasonable accommodation under the ADA or the Rehabilitation Act." It notes that "a request for reasonable accommodation is generally a part of a prima facie case for relief under the ADA and Rehabilitation Act."

Even if the plaintiffs were able to satisfy these threshold requirements, the appeals court says, their ADA and Rehabilitation Act claims are dubious. "The district court's holding that the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act preempt GA-38 is seemingly based on the premise that application of GA-38 would make it impossible for schools to comply with the ADA or the Rehabilitation Act, or would interfere with the purposes of those federal laws, because a mask mandate would be the only way to provide plaintiffs an in-person public education," the 5th Circuit notes. But it says the availability of alternative safeguards—the same consideration that undermines the plaintiffs' injury claim—casts doubt on that conclusion as well, since "Plaintiffs are not entitled to their preferred accommodation under the ADA and Rehabilitation Act if other reasonable accommodations are available."

Of the "various accommodations available to the plaintiffs" that the court mentions, vaccination, which is now approved for anyone 5 or older, is likely to be the most effective precaution, since it dramatically reduces the risk of life-threatening symptoms. Even if some of the plaintiffs are medically disqualified from vaccination or are apt to have less robust immune responses because of their preexisting conditions, vaccination of their fellow students would reduce the risk of in-school transmission.

Under Abbott's order, school districts may not require vaccination, but they can encourage and facilitate that precaution, which has a much stronger empirical basis than the "universal masking" that the plaintiffs portray as essential. K–12 mask mandates are controversial in the United States and eschewed by many other developed countries. The evidence that the benefits of such policies outweigh the substantial burdens they impose is limited and equivocal.

Even without vaccination, COVID-19 cases among children and teenagers are typically mild and almost never fatal. As of December 1, according to the numbers reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 630 Americans younger than 18 had died from COVID-19, which represents 0.08 percent of all U.S. fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic nearly two years ago. By comparison, the CDC estimated that 486 minors died from the seasonal flu in 2019–20. The CDC estimates that the COVID-19 infection fatality rate for this age group is 0.002 percent.

The whole premise of this lawsuit, of course, is that children with certain disabilities face a higher-than-average risk of life-threatening COVID-19 symptoms. But even if their risk of death were 10 or 100 times as high, it would still be very, very small.

At bottom, then, the plaintiffs are demanding a safeguard of uncertain effectiveness to protect against a tiny risk, and they are arguing that federal law requires it. If so, lifting Abbott's order would not simply leave masking policies to individual school districts, as Yeakel and Cardona imply. The threat of litigation would pressure local officials to impose mask mandates, whether or not they honestly think that policy makes sense.

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  1. Just ban the public schools. It will solve a myriad of problems.

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    3. ^BINGO..... Amazing how all of this is due to one single problem...
      Commie-Education.

      1. all this banning sounds like the Spanish Inquisition!

        "executive order violates federal laws"

        Separation of Powers, anyone?

        Anyone? Anyone?

    4. Screw the plaintiffs.

      This is like if the parents of Bubble Boy insisted that everyone *else* be in a bubble.

      Look, I'm sorry your kids have problems but that's *your* responsibility to mitigate, not the world at large. My sympathy for their plight ends when you start using it as a weapon against me.

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  2. >>5th Circuit last week temporarily restored

    temporary because they said it only lasts until Christmas, or temporary because you think things?

    1. Temporarily because we haven't even gotten started on the case yet. This was a preliminary injunction

      1. so the Christmas one then. thanks!

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    2. "Permanent means indefinite. It doesn’t necessarily mean permanent".

      That's a language lesson we learned the last few days from the Oregon Health Authority. Because "We can repeal it as well..."

      Certainly in that light, then "temporary" also means "indefinite", because they can extend it as well.

  3. Still do not get unless he says kids are forbidden from wearing masks how this runs afoul of anything.

    If their kids need to wear masks (why have they not their entre educational career, I'd ask), they can do so. Mine just does not have to.

    1. It's not a ban on wearing masks, it's a ban on mandating them.

      1. >>it's a ban on mandating them

        the air in Texas smells freer.

        1. Unless you're near cattle.

          1. ranches smell awesome.

            1. With current beef prices, they smell like money.

    2. The 5th Circuit has arrived at the only logical conclusion. According to the actual science, any policy that allows cloth masks or does not somehow enforce that masks be worn properly at all times is completely ineffective, i.e., all mask policies are ineffective. Even the current POTUS has been observed removing a mask to cough.

      Even for the vaccinated, the only real protection from infection is not to be exposed. If you believe your child is at risk from COVID, public school is not an option.

      1. I agree with your logic, but are you sure that is the logic that the Court used? It seemed to me that they were saying that a mask mandate vs stay home is not a binary choice. We could decline to mandate masks and still have various accommodations for the disabled person (voluntary masking, plexiglass, distancing, enhanced cleaning, etc).

        1. Even assuming that a mask mandate was effective (which it isn't, especially for things like schools where you have extended exposure and poor mask control), it still wouldn't be discriminatory because there are so many other options.

          That's a classic. You're wrong, and even if you were right, you'd still be wrong.

          That's why this was such a baffling ruling in the first place.

      2. If your child is deathly allergic to peanuts, you either don't send him to a public school or you send him to school with an epipen and inform his teachers and staff. You ask other parents politely to consider your situation and refrain from sending peanut butter sandwiches to school in lunch pails.

        You don't get to demand that no other children in the school are permitted to eat peanuts at home because they might accidentally have some peanut oils on their jacket.

  4. Dumb, da dumb, dumb, duuuuuumb....

    1. I think sarc is becoming self-aware!

      1. Or shitfaced on a Monday afternoon and posting gibberish without switching to his sqrlsy sock.

        1. I guess I’m just an optimist.

          1. Nothing wrong with that! Let’s keep an eye on sarc and see how it goes.

  5. The appeals court is skeptical of the claim that the Texas governor's order illegally discriminates against people with disabilities.

    It doesn't. People with disabilities can choose to wear a mask. If you believe masks work (which they don't), then the masked person should enjoy the full protection of the mask (and enjoy the spread-limiting benefits) if they are the only person in the room wearing one. Masks aren't like vaccines where 148% of the population has to be vaccinated otherwise it doesn't work.

    1. People with disabilities can choose to wear a mask.

      Not if your disability is asthma or other breathing problems. So who's arguing that mask mandates violate the ADA? (This is the whole problem with the ADA - you're required to make "reasonable accommodations" but nobody's going to tell you ahead of time what's "reasonable", you'll find out at the trial. Which kinda defeats the whole purpose of the law, to draw a bright line between what is allowed and what is forbidden so that you've got fair warning ahead of time.)

      1. Not if your disability is asthma or other breathing problems. So who's arguing that mask mandates violate the ADA?

        So a mask requirement to enter a business violates the ADA?

        1. That is actually a more rational argument than what was proposed in the original lawsuit.

          After all, there are people who have difficulty breathing and increasing that difficulty even marginally might be discriminatory, especially if you don't allow for exceptions or alternatives.

          But saying that you cannot mandate masks is somehow discriminatory? That was absurd on its face.

          1. Well, if I understand what JerrysKids was suggesting is that the argument might be, "I have Asthma (or other breathing difficulties) so everyone around me MUST wear a mask, and anything which stops EVERYONE around me from wearing a mask, then that condition discriminates against me."

            It's a weird through-the-looking-glass way of looking at discrimination, but at this point, I've kind of thrown up my hands and given up.

            1. Right, they are insisting that the "accomodation" for their disability is forcing everybody to wear masks.

              But that is silly on its face for 2 major reasons.

              1) Even if the risk of death from COVID is higher than the risk for others, it doesn't PREVENT them from going to school like, say, not having a ramp for kids in a wheelchair. They can still go to the school.

              2) If you were to accept that "risk of death from a natural pathogen" prevents kids with asthma from attending the school, then there are still myriad ways for kids to be accomodated that don't require masking the entire school population. Those sorts of things include isolating all the "at risk" (aka hypochondriac) kids in their own room where they and their teachers can mask to their heart's content.

              1. In fact public schools do things like that every day. I've known families with disabled kids that had segregated classrooms even down to a class of one.

        2. Yes indeed. I always just claim I can't wear a mask because my nose is packed full of boogers and then I offer to show them just how packed full it is. (Truthfully, I live in rural Georgia where nobody knows what a mask mandate is because we've never had 'em.)

          1. Thank your Republican Governor for me.

      2. They're pulling a Jeff and arguing that NOT having a mask mandate violates the ADA. The universe must be rearranged to suit their preferences.

      3. Which is the crux of the bullshit.

        The plaintiff’s argument is, essentially, that the entire state MUST enact and enforce statewide mask mandates in school to accommodate these 8 kids.

        GTFOH.

  6. What a bunch of shit. There should be a ban on masks. Period. They aren't 100% effective which means they're 0% effective. If you argue otherwise you voted for Biden and support mandates.

    1. You have seriously gotten dumber recently. I like how you mix false dichotomy with strawmen arguments. The only way masks purportedly work is by forcing others to lower your own risk. This requires authority to force upon the populace.

      On top of that masks aren't even close to 100% effective, they are in fact much more close to 0% effective. There is zero correlation between mask policy and infection rates. The size of the pores in masks is much bigger than the virus. Even the CDC states chances of infection rise when in 10 minutes within close proximity to another person. Yet the only argument idiots like you have made with masks is they stop snot from spreading, even though the CDC itself says it requires close and sustained contact. This is also why mask usage outdoors is meaningless, as the virus has more volume of air to spread and is not recirculated.

      But you're so far gone, and so far partisan at this point, you simply want to try to own the cons. And the cons are anti mandate, so you have to be against that. Spending all your energy creating fake arguments to take apart and then claim you never supported mandates which is the only logical outcome of your solution.

      Masks don't work. They have never worked. 100 years of studies using actual real world examples show they don't work.

      You're simply an ignorant person at this point.

      1. Like we need a study to determine that breathing through a bacteria laden rag for hours on end is a risky behavior for growing children. We should consider ourselves lucky if it is not causing literal brain damage.

        1. No guarantee it isn't. Have there been any studies on the effects of sustained hypoxia in developing children?

    2. No one is buying your outrage porn, you mendacious twat.

    3. What's upchuck? Barf.

      I don't know what you said Chuck, but I hope it's entertaining to the girls. You know, the folks with a high school mentality that are impressed when someone makes up stories about someone and pretends it's true.

      Honestly, I thought left that behind when I finished my late teens.

      I was wrong. High school politics is everywhere. Especially here.

      And you won!

      1. I don't know what you said Chuck,

        Outrage pornstar posts outrage porn and then reflects that any potential outrage generated (and which he definitely did not read) is the result of a popularity contest said pornstar lost because a clique of complete strangers are conspiring to paint a false narrative about him, and definitely not because of his continual posting of outrageous statements in an effort to get a reaction from those aforementioned complete strangers that he has personally muted and would never stoop to responding to.

        Shorter version: he must be right, because all the wrong people call him out!

      2. Truly ideas is what you discuss. Nothing you have ever said is above a middle school level.

      3. JFC, grow up.

    4. N95 and KN95 masks, worn properly, are quite effective at protecting both the wearer and people around them.

      The regular surgical paper and cloth masks are quite ineffective at preventing disease in the wearer. They only protect the people around the wearer a bit from droplets spewed out directly in front (e.g. from sneezes). If both people in a pair facing each other wear these minimally effective masks and stay 3 feet or more apart, you get something like 50% reduction in risk which is better than nothing.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/17/wearing-masks-single-most-effective-way-to-tackle-covid-study-finds

      1. People cheat enough with bandanas and light masks. Good luck getting proper usage for N95 masks.

        Thats why people should look at non lab studies and real world surveys. The kind showing masks don't work in every day settings for prolonged usages as people fiddle, remove them, etc.

        1. There's also the myriad of charts that will show there's no correlation with mask usage and cases.

          1. There is a 1: 1 correlation with billions of dollars in sales to China!

      2. N95 and KN95 masks, worn properly, are quite effective at protecting both the wearer and people around them.

        The word properly is carrying all the weight in that statement and in the vast majority of cases does not reflect reality. N-95 respirators need to be fit-tested. They must form a seal on the face to be effective.

        1. "N95 and KN95 masks, worn properly, are quite effective at protecting both the wearer and people around them"

          Advertising line.

          CDC and NIH research say the opposite.

      3. Their efficacy is orthogonal to the matter: Even assuming these studies' results are legitimate, the state forcing people, via themselves or through corporate actors, to wear masks is unconscionable.

        1. >>orthogonal

          fun word.

      4. The CDC’s recent data suggests that mask mandates might *possibly* be responsible for a 0.5% reduction of COVID infections relative to places without mask mandates. Which is it say, that if you might get 1000 infections without a mask mandate, you might get *only* 995 infections with a mandate in place. Which is to say, no effect at all.

        Other studies are showing the same thing...

        Background: Containment of the COVID-19 pandemic requires evidence-based strategies to reduce transmission. Because COVID-19 can spread via respired droplets, many states have mandated mask use in public settings. Randomized control trials have not clearly demonstrated mask efficacy against respiratory viruses, but observational studies suggest greater mask compliance may be associated with lower infection rates. We hypothesized that statewide mask mandates and mask use are associated with lower COVID-19 case growth rates in the United States.

        Methods: We calculated total COVID-19 case growth and mask use for the continental United States with data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. We estimated post-mask mandate case growth in non-mandate states using median issuance dates of neighboring states with mandates.

        Results: Case growth was not significantly different between mandate and non-mandate states at low or high transmission rates, and surges were equivocal. Mask use predicted lower case growth at low, but not high transmission rates. Growth rates were comparable between states in the top and bottom mask use quintiles adjusted for normalized total cases early in the pandemic and unadjusted after peak Fall-Winter infections. Mask use did not predict Summer 2020 case growth for non-Northeast states or Fall-Winter 2020 growth for all states.

        Conclusions: Mask mandates and use are not associated with slower state-level COVID-19 spread during COVID-19 growth surges. COVID-19 containment requires future research and implementation of existing efficacious strategies.

      5. An off-the-shelf “95” style respirator cannot be worn with facial hair, any deformity, and for small adults or children. Those require special order respirators and can be an exclusionary trait in healthcare employment.

        The “95” style respirators are also not intended to be used moist with perspiration or from breathing longer than 15-20 minutes.

        That makes them harmful, not just useless, in non-healthcare settings.

  7. Seems their claim also falls apart because the basketball team isn't required to play in wheel chairs.

    1. the basketball team isn't required to play in wheel chairs

      Ironically, Governor Abbott is.

  8. So they banned the ban on banning bans?

    1. No, they banned the ban on banning mandates

      And yes, Who is on first, The woodchucks chucked wood, and buffalos from Buffalo buffalo their peers

      1. ABBOTT AND COSTELLO’S ‘WHO’S ON FIRST’ ……updated version.
        Bud: ‘You can’t come in here!’
        Lou: ‘Why not?’
        Bud: ‘Well because you’re unvaccinated.’
        Lou: ‘But I’m not sick.’
        Bud: ‘It doesn’t matter.’
        Lou: ‘Well, why does that guy get to go in?’
        Bud: ‘Because he’s vaccinated.’
        Lou: ‘But he’s sick!’
        Bud: ‘It’s alright. Everyone in here is vaccinated.’
        Lou: ‘Wait a minute. Are you saying everyone in there is vaccinated?’
        Bud: ‘Yes.’
        Lou: ‘So then why can’t I go in there if everyone is vaccinated?’
        Bud: ‘Because you’ll make them sick.’
        Lou: ‘How will I make them sick if I’m NOT sick and they’re vaccinated.’
        Bud: ‘Because you’re unvaccinated.’
        Lou: ‘But they’re vaccinated.’
        Bud: ‘But they can still get sick.’
        Lou: ‘So what the heck does the vaccine do?’
        Bud: ‘It vaccinates.’
        Lou: ‘So vaccinated people can’t spread covid?’
        Bud: ‘Oh no. They can spread covid just as easily as an unvaccinated person.’
        Lou: ‘I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore. Look. I’m not sick.
        Bud: ‘Ok.’
        Lou: ‘And the guy you let in IS sick.’
        Bud: ‘That’s right.’
        Lou: ‘And everybody in there can still get sick even though they’re vaccinated.’
        Bud: ‘Certainly.’
        Lou: ‘So why can’t I go in again?’
        Bud: ‘Because you’re unvaccinated.’
        Lou: ‘I’m not asking who’s vaccinated or not!’
        Bud: ‘I’m just telling you how it is.’
        Lou: ‘Nevermind. I’ll just put on my mask.’
        Bud: ‘That’s fine.’
        Lou: ‘Now I can go in?’
        Bud: ‘Absolutely not?’
        Lou: ‘But I have a mask!’
        Bud: ‘Doesn’t matter.’
        Lou: ‘I was able to come in here yesterday with a mask.’
        Bud: ‘I know.’
        Lou: So why can’t I come in here today with a mask? ….If you say
        ‘because I’m unvaccinated’ again, I’ll break your arm.’
        Bud: ‘Take it easy buddy.’
        Lou: ‘So the mask is no good anymore.’
        Bud: ‘No, it’s still good.’
        Lou: ‘But I can’t come in?’
        Bud: ‘Correct.’
        Lou: ‘Why not?’
        Bud: ‘Because you’re unvaccinated.’
        Lou: ‘But the mask prevents the germs from getting out.’
        Bud: ‘Yes, but people can still catch your germs.’
        Lou: ‘But they’re all vaccinated.’
        Bud: ‘Yes, but they can still get sick.’
        Lou: ‘But I’m not sick!!’
        Bud: ‘You can still get them sick.’
        Lou: ‘So then masks don’t work!’
        Bud: ‘Masks work quite well.’
        Lou: ‘So how in the heck can I get vaccinated people sick if I’m not
        sick and masks work?’
        Bud: ‘Third base.’

      2. "banning mandates"

        Mayor Pete will be disappointed!

  9. Courts finally begin upholding constitutional protections regarding Covid, 18 months later.

    Government jerks now know they have about 18 months to ignore the constitution when they declare a pandemic.

  10. Jesus Christ, Joe Biden complaining about high drug costs in the US compared to other countries because he has no idea what marginal costs are. Did you ever stop to think that the whole goddamn reason drugs are cheaper in other countries is because they are more expensive in the US? It may be that a certain pill only costs 9 cents to produce - that is after you've spent 3 billion dollars producing the first one. If you can find somebody willing to pay 3 billion dollars for that first pill, you can lower your costs dramatically, but good luck finding somebody outside the US willing to pay that much. In the meantime, if your marginal costs of producing a pill are 9 cents, you can make money selling other people the pill for pennies, you can't make money selling it to everybody at that price.

    And that's true for every goddamn product in the world. How much does it cost to build a car? If you start off figuring the price of 800 pounds of steel, you're doing it wrong because you have to start off figuring the price of the 200 tons of bricks it takes to build the factory. The 800 pounds of steel calculation comes into play if you want to build a second car.

    But this ignorant fucker is proposing this whole program whereby the government is going to decide what the "right" price of drugs should be. What a moron who doesn't appreciate just how stupid he is.

    1. To be fair here, a genuinely free market would include provisions for drug reimportation (banned by the FD&C Act) to put competitive pressures on the drug companies domestically.

    2. But this ignorant fucker is proposing this whole program whereby the government is going to decide what the "right" price of drugs should be.
      Price controls always have a positive impact, Jerry.

    3. And don't forget that you need to budget a few billion dollars for the inevitable lawsuits for side effects that will come later.

    4. "to start off figuring the price of the 200 tons of bricks it takes to build the factory. The 800 pounds of steel calculation comes into play if you want to build a second car."

      Make drugs in China. Tgey have skave labor to make cheap bricks.

      Nothing can go rw6#\n4Г..

  11. K–12 mask mandates are controversial in the United States and eschewed by many other developed countries. The evidence that the benefits of such policies outweigh the substantial burdens they impose is limited and equivocal.

    Sullum, thank you for accurately summarizing = the evidence of the benefit is limited and equivocal

    You get hammered a lot. This one, you got right.

    1. "Substantial burdens."

      This just tells me people have never put up or sacrificed anything in their lives. Good god, the amount of bellyaching and whining it's a wonder we can do anything in life. Never seen so many fragile snowflakes come out of the woodwork.

      1. You know who else complained about being forced to wear small articles of clothing out in public?

  12. Engaging with sarc is akin to trolling yourself: You'll never get that time back.

    1. I almost feel sorry for the drunk retard at this point.

  13. Babylon Bee:

    Here are eight reasons masking is a must.

    1) Kids aren't real people and they don't have any feelings: Kids are pretty much just noise and snot factories. They won't even remember this time in their lives, so you're definitely not traumatizing them or anything.

    2) Kids try to manipulate you with their cute little faces: Take control by covering those faces up!

    3) It's never too early to teach complete, unquestioning loyalty to the government: It's the most important virtue.

    4) Breathing in CO2 all day will make them more complacent and easier to indoctrinate: That's when you can fill their brains with race and gender theory!

    5) As white kids struggle to breathe, you can remind them that every breath of oxygen they take could have been taken by a student of color: You can then remind the students of color that the white kids are stealing all their oxygen.

    6) Masks muffle kids' annoying voices: Kids are always asking questions, like "why are you making us wear masks?" in their little annoying voice. Muffle that noise and give yourself some peace and quiet.

    7) Since your students are already conveniently masked, you can take them to participate in the local Antifa rally: Burning businesses is the best way for students to learn about peaceful civic action.

    8) Masks will help everyone look more gender-neutral: This will help students embrace their true identity without biological identity getting in the way.

    Just put on the mask and don't ask any more questions. HAIL SCIENCE!

    1. Poop factories, they are.

  14. The bottom line is that this is just another example of the authoritarian Biden trying an end run around the constitutional limits on the executive. The Texas law is an entirely appropriate exercise of the state's police authority. Nice to see the courts slapping him down again.

    1. Ok, so Biden is authoritarian for wanting a mask mandate.

      But Abbot is NOT authoritarian by BANNING mandates?

      What kind of pants on head logic are you using?

      1. Abbott actually has legitimate control of what his state government does. So banning a mask mandate *by government entities* is significantly less authoritarian than the feds mandating them for private individuals and businesses.

  15. Ban mask mandates? How very small government of a state to tell more local school boards what they can and cannot do.

    1. Yes it is! The purpose of small government is to protect rights, so in this case the state is protecting the rights by preventing the localities from infringing upon them.

  16. A court does its job! Its a festivus miracle!

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