A New York State Supreme Court judge on Long Island overturned Governor Kathy Hochul’s indoor mask mandate – currently in place through February 1 – ruling the governor lacks the emergency powers to support the requirement.
Nassau County judge Thomas Rademaker ruled late on January 24 that the power to issue such a mandate remains only with the state Legislature after lawmakers approved a law in March 2021 to curb a governor’s authority to issue executive orders during a state emergency. That law walked back a March 2020 law giving former governor Andrew Cuomo widespread executive order power; he issued hundreds such orders during the first year of the pandemic.
In his ruling, the judge did not dispute the underlying reason for the mandate, citing what he called the “well-aimed” intentions of Governor Hochul and New York State Health Commissioner Mary Bassett.
Governor Hochul responded immediately, pledging to pursue “every option to reverse this immediately.”
The governor said last week that she would not render a decision on extending her indoor mask mandate beyond February 1 “until January 31.”