It is no secret that we have been involved in a pandemic since March, 2020. The issue of masks has grown and grown. Some folks are vehemently opposed to wearing masks. One woman here in San Antonio has filed suit against Northside Independent School District, because she was required to wear a mask. Jamie Marroquin tried to attend a NISD board meeting without a mask. She was told to leave. She refused. So, two NISD police officers picked her up in her chair and took her outside. See San Antonio Express News report here.
Ms. Marroquin then filed suit in state district court. Her petition seems to rest on the theory that the NISD mask policy violates Gov. Abbott’s order that there be no no-mask orders. Yes, Gov. Abbott issued a mandate that there be no mandates. The petition also alleges a violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act.
I am no expert on law concerning state gubernatorial executive orders, but I doubt those executive orders provide any sort of private right of action. It is hard to imagine what her standing would be. She cannot show how a violation of the Governor’s order harms her in particular, as opposed to any other citizen of Texas.
Regarding the Open Meetings Act, it just seems unlikely that NISD would have violated the act on such a public, contentious issue.And, even if they did violate the Open Meetings Act, they can easily remedy that oversight by conducting another meeting.
Too, when it comes to courts in general, courts rarely, rarely take chances with public safety. That is a simple truism in all sorts of lawsuits.The courts do not like to get in the business of second-guessing safety concerns. Courts are just not set up to evaluate the efficacy of a given safety rule. Ms. Marroquin’s lawsuit, I think, is likely to fail. But, a successful lawsuit may not be her real goal.