Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) on Monday criticized a ruling from a Tennessee judge, which halted a new law that prevented mask mandates in schools.
Calling the decision “judicial overreach,” Johnson argued that U.S. District Judge Waverly Crenshaw of the Middle District of Tennessee stepped outside his boundaries.
The judge paused the new law after attorneys argued that the measure is unconstitutional and violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“The injunction was misguided and the epitome of judicial overreach,” said Leader Johnson, who sponsored the legislation in the Tennessee Senate, in an emailed statement. “Hopefully this injunction will be temporary as the judge looks at the legislation in its entirety, including provisions to accommodate ADA students and others with special needs. The legislation provides for parental choice regarding whether or not their children should wear a mask, while accommodating those who have special needs.”
The new law is already facing several lawsuits after it was enacted on Friday.
Johnson detailed that it is the role of state lawmakers to create policies, rather than members of the judicial branch.
“We heard from many parents regarding their right to decide whether or not their child should wear a mask,” Johnson added. “Tennesseans expect public policy, including vaccine and mask mandates, to be formulated by their elected representatives, not by activist judges.”
“Tennesseans also expect our policies to be reasonable,” he continued. “The rolling seven-day average of COVID-19 cases in Williamson County has dropped significantly to just 32 new cases for the entire county. Our legislation provided reasonable policies and thresholds regarding masks in schools and should be implemented as passed by the General Assembly and signed into law.”
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