Arkansas Supreme Court upholds injunction blocking mask mandate ban


A teacher checks temperature of students at school. High school students wearing N95 Face masks waiting in line. (Photo: Getty Images)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An attempt by Arkansas legislators to put a law into effect banning mask mandates has been stopped by the state supreme court.

In a decision Thursday, the justices denied a request by Arkansas Senate President Pro Tem Jimmy Hickey Jr. and House Speaker Matthew Shepherd to stay an injunction issued by a lower court that blocks Act 1002 from being implemented.

The new law looked to ban public bodies like the state, local communities, counties or schools, from implementing mask requirements.

Multiple school districts had reached out to Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson pushing back against the new regulation, saying it was making it less safe to return to class, especially for students under the age of 12 who were not eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

A circuit court judge in Pulaski County issued the injunction after parents filed a lawsuit challenging the measure. They were supported by leaders in multiple school districts, county judges and Hutchinson himself.

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