Citizens in the US believe in their personal freedoms, and many find the mandatory mask wearing policies in their communities to violate those freedoms. Despite the recommendations from medical professionals that masks save lives, some people wonder if mask policies have grounds for legal opposition.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced government officials to make unprecedented decisions. Without guidance from the federal government, states and communities are on their own to protect the people under their care. Lawmanaging can answer questions about the rights of the citizenry and the responsibilities of the government during a pandemic.
Several people and businesses have sued over mandatory-mask policies. The outcomes have been mixed. These are a few of the cases and outcomes.
1. Florida Lawsuit Rejected
A judge rejected a lawsuit that claimed a mask mandate violated a man’s privacy. The Florida man asked a judge to void the mask mandate inside of businesses. The judge followed the science and rejected the man’s argument.
2. Louisiana Judge Says No
Just to the west in Louisiana, a judge did accept a man’s complaint about mask wearing. The judge said that businesses could not force patrons to wear masks, and that the government could not search or fine businesses for choosing not to comply with the mayor’s mask order.
3. Atlanta Emergency Hearing Dropped
During the summer, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp asked for a lawsuit to stop Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms from requiring masks in the capital city. In August, he dropped the request for an emergency court order, and allowed the mayor to make decisions for her community.
These two cases show the differences in how judges interpret and react to cases for and against wearing masks. Some of the lawsuits argue that mask mandates are forcing businesses to lose money. Others look at the unconstitutionality of the mandates.
Businesses also worry about the ADA and the rules that are neglected during the pandemic. For example, some people argue that their medical condition prohibits them from wearing a mask. Businesses do not know when a customer is telling the truth or using this as an excuse. Customers claim that their ADA rights are violated when a business will not let them enter because they are not wearing a mask. ADA violations can be costly.
It is likely that someone will use the ADA as their rationale for suing the government or businesses for mask mandates. However, there are plenty of accommodations that businesses are making for people who cannot wear masks. For example, many businesses offer curbside delivery so customers do not have to enter the building. The ADA makes exemptions for situations like a pandemic, where not wearing a mask might create a safety risk for employees and other customers.
Anyone who feels that their rights have been violated can sue. Those who choose to sue about mask mandates would need to find an attorney to represent them, and that attorney would need to be able to prove that the mandate violated their client’s rights. While some cases have been won by plaintiffs, there are numerous cases in the dockets. Lawsuits are expensive and time-consuming, which might keep people from filing them in the first place.