School Mask Mandates are (Still) IIlegal
“If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.” -Calvin Coolidge
The battle over school mask and vaccine mandates is already won. Overwhelming Constitutional Law, Case Law and State Law repudiate any claims by local government to justify such mandates.
Your rights as a parent are deeply rooted and as immoveable as a mature oak tree.
Let’s start at the roots of our rights and follow the legal rationale out to the branches under which we govern our states, counties, cities, and school districts so that you have a basis for standing up for yourself and your family.
The Roots: The American Republic was founded upon “self-evident” Truths—or as John Locke called them, “Natural Rights.” The big idea upon which our nation was founded is that we have “inalienable rights” given to us by our Creator. No government of men can infringe upon these rights, which outrank human authority.
As Irresistible Revolution author, Lt. Colonel Matthew Lohmeier wrote, “The principles are considered true because they are eternal—in other words, they are predicated upon a law that is ‘natural’ and not created by man. And because natural law is not the creation of man, the rights stemming from such a law preexist government and cannot be infringed upon by government” (emphasis mine).
The Trunk: The trunk of the tree that we can cling to when tyrants attempt to control the People or insidious ideologies threaten our freedom consists of the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. They do not establish our rights, they enumerate (list) them. But even these documents acknowledge that they are not comprehensive catalogs of all our Natural Rights.
This is why we have the Ninth Amendment, drafted by James Madison to ensure that the Constitution and Amendments were not seen as granting the People of the United States only the specific rights they addressed. It also stipulated that those specific rights enumerated could not preclude other Natural Rights not addressed. The Amendment reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
Next, notice how the concept of Natural Rights/God-given rights/inalienable rights carries through to Supreme Court case law, as well as to specific state laws (Arizona specifically cited here).
The Branches: The major limbs of the tree are represented by federal and state laws and case laws that address specific applications supporting Natural Law, consistent with the Constitution and Bill of Rights, in the spirit of the Declaration. Let’s take a look at some key case law and Arizona state laws that clearly repudiate the pretended authority of “mask mandates” and even certain executive orders:
Selected Case Law
Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 45 S. Ct. 571 (1925)
The major thrust of this Supreme Court decision was to affirm that the “fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments of this Union rest [Natural Rights] excludes the general power of the State to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only.”
But the ruling covers specific foundational rights that refute, in principle, the decision of Judge Katherine Cooper of Maricopa County to deny a ban on Critical Race Theory (CRT), vaccine passports, and the mask mandate ban. She ruled on a technicality to block this new law, but her ruling does not make these illegal practices legal.
CRT: “In the brief submitted on behalf of the appellant Governor, it is urged in justification for the enactment that it was necessary in order to prevent the teaching of disloyalty and subversive radicalism or bolshevism [aka Marxism/Communism]…This Court has emphatically held that the States have power to make criminal and forbid the teaching of disloyalty, sedition, or pacifism Gilbert v. Minnesota, 254 U.S. 325.”
Therefore, Supreme Court Case Law emphatically states that the teaching of Marxist ideologies such as Critical Race Theory is criminal.
Further, the ruling states: “But there was no claim that as a matter of fact and truth American history and the aims of our Governments were not being correctly taught in the private and parochial schools of the State, nor was there any suggestion that the children attending such schools were not being properly or adequately instructed in any fundamental principles of freedom and democracy or in reverence and righteousness. The private and parochial schools teach the same subjects as the public schools—whatever one does to inculcate and foster patriotism, the other can and does do quite as well. No legislation can proscribe social discrimination, and the statute in the case at bar is singularly inappropriate to that end. Young children do not discriminate against each other; that is a characteristic of maturity. The picking and choosing of friends for reasons based upon money, creed, or social status come, not during elementary school days, but afterwards; and no force thus far vouchsafed to man has ever been equal to the destruction or elimination of social distinctions.”
Healthcare decisions (including masks & vaccines): “It is not seriously debatable that the parental right to guide one’s child intellectually and religiously is a most substantial part of the liberty and freedom of the parent. Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399-400; Taylor v. Beckham (No. 1), 178 U.S. 548, 602-3. See also Wolff Co. v. Industrial Court, 262 U.S. 522, 534; Coppage v. Kansas, 236 U.S. 1, 10, 14; Smith v. Texas, 233 U.S. 630, 636; People v. Gillson, 109 N.Y. 389, 398-9; Tillman v. Tillman, 26 L.R.A. (n.s.) 781, 785 (S. Car.).”
“Under the doctrine of Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, we think it entirely plain that the Act of 1922 unreasonably interferes with the liberty of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of children under their control. As often heretofore pointed out, rights guaranteed by the Constitution may not be abridged by legislation which has no reasonable relation to some purpose within the competency of the State…The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.”
Parents, not the government, have the right to make their children’s life decisions. This is a foundational (Natural) right. Arizona state law reflects this principal in specific and unambiguous terms:
State Law: The Parental Bill of Rights and others
According to the Center for Arizona Policy: “Recognizing the need to specifically protect parents’ rights in state law, CAP worked with the Arizona Legislature in 2010 to pass the Parents’ Bill of Rights. This statute sets forth the broad rule of parents’ rights: “The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of their children is a fundamental right.” A.R.S. 1-601(A). The government may not interfere with parental rights unless it demonstrates a compelling interest of the highest order that is narrowly tailored to meet that interest and that is not otherwise served by a less restrictive means. A.R.S. 1-601(B). This standard allows for children to be protected from abusive situations, while still ensuring that parents’ rights are not infringed by government officials who may simply believe they know better than a parent.
The Parents’ Bill of Rights recognizes a parent’s right to:
- Direct the education of their child.
- Direct the upbringing of their child.
- Direct the moral or religious training of their child.
- Make healthcare decisions for their child.
- (Additional items not cited here)
“Parents have the solemn right and responsibility to raise their children according to their own sincerely held convictions. Government must always recognize this right and make every effort to support parents in the choices they make while raising children. In Arizona, citizens should be aware of the extensive parental rights in state law and their ability to freely exercise them.”
Additionally, ARS 15-873(A)(1), allows parents to exempt their children from immunization requirements for K-12 school admission if “due to personal beliefs, the parent or guardian does not consent to the immunization of the pupil.”
The Twigs: Recent legislation and judicial opinions.
Subsequent legislation and opinions, such as Judge Cooper’s overturn of SB 1898, do not carry the weight of your Natural Rights, Foundational principles of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, nor of Case Law or State Law.
So the passing of SB 1898 itself was not necessary to secure your right to make healthcare decisions for your child, nor did Cooper’s ruling affect those fundamental rights. This entire debate is a red herring—a distraction that gives the false impression that school districts and schools can now “mandate” masks and vaccinations. In point of fact, they never could and still cannot infringe upon your rights as a parent and a free American.
The ruling of a single judge cannot override Constitutional law, nor decades of case law. Period.
Not on the tree: Mandates and orders. These are not laws and need only be regarded inasmuch as they are consistent with the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and laws reflecting those. Health departments, judges, and administrators do not make laws; neither governors nor any other member of the executive branch, including the President can make laws. That is the sole duty of the Legislative Branch.
Our nation has strayed from the founding principles upon which our Republic was built, and our lack of understanding of our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence have made us vulnerable to tyranny, usurpation of Natural Rights, and Marxist indoctrination that is antithetical to our founding principles.
As Francis Bacon said, “Knowledge is power,” and as the Founder of Christianity said, “you shall know the TRUTH, and the truth shall set you free.”
Stand your ground, parents. Your rights are deeply rooted. Only YOU are entitled to make any healthcare decision for your children.
“All parental rights are reserved to a parent of a minor child without obstruction or interference from this state, any political subdivision of this state, any other governmental entity or any other institution, including…the right to make health care decisions for the minor child…” (ARS 1-602 A5)
Kelly John Walker, M.S. is Founder of FreedomTalk, and Editor-in-Chief of FreedomTalk Monthly, a new publication created to help restore Truth and Virtue to the American psyche. Kelly has been a high-ranking environmental scientist, a teacher, and Senior Writer & Editor for a national healthcare education company. He founded two marketing & branding agencies and is currently co-owner of Viva Coffee House in Tucson, Arizona. He has twice held elected office, has received national awards for conservation, and served overseas as a school administrator and instructor in Sri Lanka.