US Department of Education Targeting States with Masks Mandate Bans

US Department of Education Targeting States with Masks Mandate Bans

( – In August, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a guidance recommending everyone in public schools wear masks regardless of vaccination status. As the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution spells out, anything not explicitly granted to the federal government is a state power, which is why the feds cannot issue health mandates.

Several states led by GOP governors are going in their own direction. As a result, the Biden administration is targeting them with backdoor tactics attempting to force them to comply with the CDC guidelines that aren’t legally enforceable. Governors say the feds shouldn’t strip parents of the right to choose what’s best for the needs of their children.

The Department of Education’s (DOE) head of civil rights wrote Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah to inform them they’re opening an investigation. The DOE wants to know if the states are discriminating against students with disabilities. If the DOE determines the states discriminated through anti-masking policies, the federal agency could withhold education funds to the states.

The DOE’s action potentially makes good on President Biden’s threat to use the muscle of the federal government to force states to comply with federal recommendations. However, it’s questionable whether the DOE’s tactic is legal according to the principles of federalism established via the 10th Amendment. Additionally, in 2012, the US Supreme Court ruled in the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) v. Sebelius that the federal government cannot coerce the states in violation of the 10th Amendment.

The states are likely to challenge the DOE in federal court if the agency pursues a punitive action.

Stay tuned.

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