HARRISBURG – Following today’s ruling by the Commonwealth Court dismissing the acting secretary of Health’s school masking order, Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) issued the following statement:
“Throughout the pandemic, the General Assembly’s role as the elected voice of the people of Pennsylvania has been silenced by orders and regulations.
“Today’s ruling shows a firm understanding by the court that our Constitution makes it clear that no unelected government bureaucrat should never have the sole and unilateral authority to issue open-ended ‘orders’ – whether they focus on public health response or something else.
“To give such limitless discretion would elevate the acting secretary’s power above at least two branches of our tripartite government.
“This debate has never been about the effectiveness of masks in schools, or any other setting. It is about whether or not each branch of our state government and the officials who work in those branches will follow the law and respect our Constitution’s design that directs the legislative branch to make the laws that govern our people.
“Today’s ruling is a victory for all Pennsylvanians, regardless of how you feel about this particular issue. It shows that our system of checks and balances works in the interest of all people, so that no singular voice can silence the voice of free people who allow themselves to be governed.
“As we have strongly advocated for months, mitigations, strategies and decisions are best made at the local level. Today, local leaders should feel empowered to once again make the decisions that best fit the needs of their own communities.”