Conservative blocs unleash legal action to curb public health powers : Shots | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools | #sextrafficing | #childsaftey


Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (right) has sued the CDC over its air travel mask mandate, while Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (left) has sued and sent cease and desist letters to dozens of school districts over mask mandates.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (right) has sued the CDC over its air travel mask mandate, while Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (left) has sued and sent cease and desist letters to dozens of school districts over mask mandates.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Through a wave of pandemic-related litigation, a trio of small but mighty conservative legal blocs has rolled back public health authority at the local, state and federal levels, recasting America’s future battles against infectious diseases.

Galvanized by what they’ve characterized as an overreach of COVID-related health orders issued amid the pandemic, lawyers from the three overlapping spheres — conservative and libertarian think tanks, Republican state attorneys general, and religious liberty groups — are aggressively taking on public health mandates and the government agencies charged with protecting community health.

“I don’t think these cases have ever been about public health,” said Daniel Suhr, managing attorney for the Liberty Justice Center, a Chicago-based libertarian litigation group. “That’s the arena where these decisions are being made, but it’s the fundamental constitutional principles that underlie it that are an issue.”

Through lawsuits filed around the country, or by simply wielding the threat of legal action, these loosely affiliated groups have targeted individual counties and states and, in some cases, set broader legal precedent.

In Wisconsin, a conservative legal center won a case before the state Supreme Court stripping local health departments of the power to close schools to stem the spread of disease.



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