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Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker of IllinoisWikimedia Commons

SPRINGFIELD (LifeSiteNews) — Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s mask mandate for Illinois public schools is “null and void,” according to a Friday ruling excoriating the “evil” process that enacted it without legislative approval.

The Center Square reports that Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Raylene Grischow issued a 30-page decision siding with the 700 parents and dozens of school employees who sued over the pro-lockdown governor’s mask and vaccine mandates. Grischow issued a temporary injunction on enforcing Pritzker’s executive orders on the subjects for lack of due process.

“The arbitrary method as to contact tracing and masking in general continue to raise fair questions as to the legality of the Executive Orders in light of violations of healthy children’s substantive due process rights,” the judge wrote. “Statutory rights have attempted to be bypassed through the issuance of Executive Orders and Emergency Rules … This type of evil is exactly what the law was intended to constrain.”

Prior to the ruling, Pritzker claimed to want to end masking “as soon as we possibly can,” but suggested his scientific advisers had not yet given him their blessing that it was “the right time.” After the ruling, he confirmed he would file an appeal to restore the mandates.

In the meantime, more than 200 schools in the Prairie State have made masks optional, though others such as St. Pius X Parish School (which is in the Diocese of Joliet) has temporarily switched to remote learning in response:

Available evidence suggests that masks have played little, if any, role in reducing COVID-19’s spread across the United States, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) September 2020 acknowledgement that masks cannot be counted on to keep out COVID when spending 15 minutes or longer within six feet of someone, or a May 2020 study published by CDC’s peer-reviewed journal Emerging Infectious Diseases that “did not find evidence that surgical-type face masks are effective in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza transmission, either when worn by infected persons (source control) or by persons in the general community to reduce their susceptibility.”

Last May, another study found that, though mandates effectively increased mask use, that usage did not yield the expected benefits: “mask mandates and use (were) not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 spread among U.S. states” from March 2020 to March 2021. In fact, the researchers found the results to be a net negative, with masks increasing “dehydration … headaches and sweating and decreas[ing] cognitive precision,” and interfering with communication, as well as impairing social learning among children.

“The potential educational harms of mandatory-masking policies are much more firmly established, at least at this point, than their possible benefits in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in schools,” University of California-San Francisco epidemiologist Professor Vinay Prasad wrote in September. “Early childhood is a crucial period when humans develop cultural, language, and social skills, including the ability to detect emotion on other people’s faces. Social interactions with friends, parents, and caregivers are integral to fostering children’s growth and well-being.”

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