Is it legal?

Author: admin

Something’s happening in our country that’s, thus far, escaped much attention. But, in the name of good, lawful government, we should acknowledge what could eventually be a bad situation.

The nub of it is this. When it is right to ignore a lawfully issued order from proper authority? Given such an order to do – or not do – something, when it is proper -and legal – to say “No?”

Local school boards – honest, hard working local school boards – are facing that quandary right now in several states. States, wherein, governors have issued legally proper executive orders banning masks for teachers and children in public schools.

Now, right here, I’ve gotta say, I don’t agree with such orders, either. We should be taking whatever measures we can – everywhere – to insure the safety of our kids. All of ‘em.

But, the issue becomes which lawful orders do we ignore and which lawful orders do we follow? If it’s O.K. to disobey on this issue, what about some other order? On some other important matter?

Suppose a governor – by executive order – closes a state park because of recent animal attacks. Do you stay out, obeying the order? Or do you go to your favorite campground, well-armed? Disobeying the order.

What if your governor – by executive order – orders closure of four favorite lake because of deadly algae? Do you stay away, obeying the order? Or, do you launch your boat anyway? Disobeying the order.

While agreeing school boards should take every opportunity to keep kids and their teachers safe, how do we deal with opposing an executive order from the governor? A legal order? Even if it goes against the best medical authority?

Well, some school districts are not obeying. They’re ordering everybody to “mask up” and take such other precautions as necessary. “Damn the order – full speed ahead” sort of thing. Legally, can they do that?

One Texas school district – faced with such a conundrum – came up with a loophole of sorts. It simply rewrote the mandatory dress codes and included masks. Neat. Others are issuing mask orders before the effective date of the executive action. Cute.

Here in Arizona, our Governor is offering parents and school districts who support his “no mask” order grants of money. Yep, he’s paying people for their support! Up to $7-thousand a student! “Kill a kid, make a buck.” Damn!

Governors in Florida, Arizona and other states, trying to implement “no mask” orders, are wrong. Full stop! Each swore an oath upon taking office to provide for the safety and well-being of the citizenry. Allowing COVID to kill people is a violation of that oath, I would think.

It’ll be interesting to see if governors, faced with contrary school boards, take them to court. Normally, I’d say doubtful. But, we’re dealing with DeSantis in Florida, Ducey in Arizona and a few elsewhere. So, normal may not hold up if they’re determined to seek court decisions to back up their dubious orders.

If it comes to that, judges will be faced with a tough decision. Do they support chief executives by declaring the issuance of such orders are lawful and, therefore, require obedience? Or, despite legal strictures, do they allow “exemptions” for millions of kids and teachers?

And one more question. If school boards are supported by the courts, will there be other cases in which people ignore an executive order based on some school board precedent?

As I said, this question of disobeying lawful orders of a duly recognized authority isn’t getting much attention.

Maybe it should be.

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