Devastating. That’s how it felt earlier this week when the Arizona Supreme Court upheld the trial court’s ruling in Arizona School Boards Association v. State of Arizona. This decision strikes down critical reforms contained in a series of Budget Reconciliation Bills passed by lawmakers and signed by Governor Ducey earlier this year.

And it’s a big blow to the people of Arizona.

This past July, Arizona lawmakers took important steps to protect our state from more COVID mandates and government overreach. Among the laws passed were bans on:

    • A county, city, or town from issuing COVID ordinances that impact private businesses, schools, churches, or other private entities, including mask mandates.
    • K-12 schools from requiring vaccines with an emergency use authorization for in-person attendance.
    • The state and any city, town, or county from establishing COVID vaccine passports or requiring COVID vaccines.
    • Public universities and community colleges from mandating COVID vaccines and vaccine passports.
    • A city, town, county, school board, or charter school from mandating students and teachers to be vaccinated or wear masks.

But COVID wasn’t the only thing these Budget Reconciliation Bills addressed. With children around the country being taught that by virtue of their race, they are inherently racist, state lawmakers also banned the teaching of Critical Race Theory in public schools. And rightfully so. Our country was founded on the principle of equal dignity of every person as an individual. That’s why Critical Race Theory has no place anywhere in our nation, especially in our schools.

Now, the Arizona Supreme Court has struck down these important reforms on procedural grounds. And by doing so, it has created even more uncertainty and frustration in our state during a period of time that has already had plenty of challenges and confusion.

But make no mistake, while this ruling is devastating, it will not stop the battle over these critical issues. There’s just too much at stake.

Vaccine mandates are one of the most extreme infringements on both businesses and individual rights in U.S. history. And they have already caused staffing shortages that have left hospitals overwhelmed and jeopardized public safety at a time when violent crime is on the rise.

Masks mandates have been one of the most contentious issues since the pandemic first hit. And masks on kids have been even worse, possibly causing psychological harm with no study to back them up.

And parents are catching on to what’s going on in their children’s schools. Now, they are fed up with public school districts hiding curriculum while attempting to indoctrinate their children in dangerous ideologies.

That’s why the Arizona Free Enterprise Club is urging both the state legislature and Governor Ducey to immediately address the critical reforms that the Supreme court struck down. They must exhaust every option possible, including special session, to protect Arizonans from more COVID mandates and the bigoted teachings of Critical Race Theory.

Because if the uncertainty and frustration caused by these issues are allowed to continue, it would be the most devastating news of all.

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