This past July, Arizona lawmakers and Governor Ducey did the right thing. Through a series of Budget Reconciliation Bills, they took important steps to protect the people of Arizona from more COVID mandates and to prevent children from being indoctrinated in public schools by Critical Race Theory.
While COVID was certainly an issue that warranted some action, it never should have included trampling on the rights of the people. And we definitely should not be wasting tax dollars on lessons that teach public school students that one race, ethnic group, or sex is in any way superior to another.
Not surprisingly, these laws sent teachers’ unions into a tailspin. As students headed back to campus, some Arizona schools decided to teach students that it’s ok to violate the law. And the Arizona Board of Regents recently announced that all three state universities will require their employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 8.
Then, there’s the lawsuit. In August, the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) joined with several other groups to sue the State of Arizona to stop the ban on mask mandates, vaccine mandates, and Critical Race Theory.
In fact, they believe in their lawsuit so much that a month later, the ASBA turned around and held a conference indoors where multiple attendees were maskless! Rules for thee, but not for me, apparently.
Unfortunately, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper struck down our state’s ban on mask mandates, vaccine mandates, vaccine passports, and Critical Race Theory last month. Thankfully, it didn’t take long before Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich appealed to our state’s Supreme Court.
The justices will hear the case on November 2, and there’s a lot at stake.
If the Arizona Supreme Court fails to uphold these laws, it would set a new precedent where courts could come in after the fact to determine whether provisions in Budget Reconciliation Bills are necessary to implement the budget. Determining the relationship of policy and budget appropriations is a delicate issue, and the Supreme Court needs to be careful not to set a bad precedent that empowers unelected judges to strike down laws that have a direct budgetary relationship simply because they don’t like the new policy.
Make no mistake, a ruling from the state’s highest court against these laws will not stop the battle over these critical issues. And we all know how that’s gone so far:
- Masks on kids may cause psychological harm with no study to back them up.
- Hospitals are overwhelmed and public safety is at risk because of staffing shortages caused by the vaccine mandate.
- Parents around the state are catching on and speaking up against Critical Race Theory in their children’s public schools.
We will know soon enough if the Supreme Court upholds these critical laws. If they do not, then Governor Ducey and Attorney General Brnovich MUST NOT back down. They must exhaust all options to protect the people of Arizona from COVID mandates, Critical Race Theory, and more government overreach.
After all, your tax dollars should not be funding political commentary in our schools. And the government must be stopped from any more unlawful power grabs.
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