By Corinne Murdock
A Maricopa County Superior Court judge did not rule on the Phoenix Union High School District’s (PXU) mask mandate during an emergency hearing Wednesday. The Kolodin Law Group filed on behalf of PXU biology teacher Douglas Hester on Monday, requesting an injunction against PXU’s mandate issued several days earlier.
PXU’s superintendent and governing board members were named as defendants in the lawsuit.
According to the new state law, no schools may require face coverings or the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of in-person learning. The lawsuit pointed out that the law includes a retroactive clause for the mask and vaccine prohibition. Therefore, those parts of the law were expected to take effect on June 30.
Alexander Kolodin with Kolodin Law Group told AZ Free News that this lawsuit will determine whether government is bound to the law. He added that this case was an important determinant in restoring people’s faith in their governing system. According to Kolodin, Hester wasn’t the only teacher that voiced concern over the mask mandate.
“This lawsuit is simply about whether the government needs to follow the law or whether the government is above the law,” explained Kolodin. “The people’s duly elected representatives arrived at the idea that in the case of schools, the tradeoff between mandating masks and personal liberty was in favor of not mandating masks. That was the voice of the people.”
Kolodin credited State Representatives Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek) and Jacqueline Parker (R-Mesa) for their hand in the legislation prohibiting K-12 mask and vaccine mandates.
“Obviously the people of Arizona have been applying a lot of pressure to elected officials concerning these pandemic-mandated countermeasures,” said Kolodin. “[These] two state legislators worked with their constituents to get legislation passed to try to balance the interest of people and their liberty.”