MAY 24, 2021 (HARTFORD, CT) - A Connecticut Superior Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the CT Freedom Alliance, LLC, which sought to strike down the school mask mandate issued by the Connecticut Department of Education, and later by Governor Ned Lamont, last year. In a brief decision spanning just over four pages, Judge Thomas Moukawsher granted "the defendants a full and final summary judgment--not merely because the lawsuit is moot--but because the actions of the executive have been ratified as correct by both of the other co-equal branches of government." Earlier this month, the CT General Assembly passed legislation ratifying the Governor's executive orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and providing an oversight mechanism for future executive orders issued pursuant to a "civil preparedness emergency." In March, the CT Supreme Court ruled in Casey v. Lamont that Governor Lamont acted within his Constitutional authority when he issued executive orders that resulted in widespread business closures across the state, including the plaintiff's Milford, CT bar.
CT Freedom Alliance, LLC Co-Founder and General Counsel Brian Festa remarked on the court's decision, and promised to appeal. "We respectfully disagree with the court's decision today in the school mask lawsuit. The plaintiffs remain steadfast in their position that the school mask mandate was not only an unconstitutional overreach of executive authority, but that it was--and continues to be--far more of a threat to children's health than the coronavirus. We look forward to presenting our arguments on appeal." Festa added that the CT Freedom Alliance planned to file a public interest appeal directly to the CT Supreme Court in short order.
The full text of Judge Moukawsher's decision can be found here.