The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Volokh Conspiracy

Oregon County Imposes Race-Based Mask Requirements


From Lincoln County, Oregon:

Face Covering Directive
Order 6/17/2020—Face Covering Directive (signed directive in Supporting Documents—below)

General directive: All individualis in Lincoln County are required to wear face coverings during any indoor public setting or outdoor public location where a person will be in within six feet of another individual, who does not share the same household.


  • Persons with health/medical conditions that preclude or are exacerbated by wearing a face covering.
  • Children under the age of 12. Children over the age of 2 but under the age of 12 are encouraged to wear face coverings but not required to do so.
  • Persons with disabilities that prevents them from using the face covering as described in this Directive. These persons must be reasonably accommodated to allow them access to goods and services.
  • People of color who have heightened concerns about racial profiling and harassment due to wearing face coverings in public.

I appreciate the concern about racial profiling, but, no, it can't justify having one law for "people of color" and another for whites; such a race-based classification violates the Equal Protection Clause. Thanks to Luke Thiesen for the pointer.