Whoa! Is Minnesota’s Face Mask Mandate Legal?
On Wednesday, July, 23 Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed an executive order that requires all Minnesotans to wear a face mask or covering "in all public indoor spaces and indoor businesses, unless you are alone." This includes a public building, store, place of worship, and other indoor gathering places.
The executive order goes into effect on Saturday, July 25, 2020. It will remain in effect "until the peacetime emergency ends or until canceled by proper authority."
On Thursday, a Minnesota State Representative, Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) challenged the constitutionality of Governor Walz’s order.
“Governor Walz is not legally permitted to require Minnesotans to wear masks," Rep. Drazkouski said. Fellow legislators and I have filed a lawsuit against the Governor regarding his unconstitutional actions and orders. We are currently waiting on a ruling from the judge regarding that lawsuit, and I feel a ruling cannot come quickly enough. We are losing more individual liberties every day.”
The face mask mandate has a couple of exceptions. Young children and individuals with certain medical or mental health conditions will not be required to wear a mask.
Individuals who choose not to comply with the executive order could be charged with a petty misdemeanor and face a $100 fine. Business owners and managers who don't comply could face a "$1000 fine and not more than 90 days in jail, civil enforcement with fines of up to $25,000, and regulatory enforcement."
Rep. Drazkowski explains the unconstitutionality of the Governor's executive order by stating, “Not only is Governor Walz unconstitutionally creating new laws with his executive orders, but he is using his executive orders to supersede written law. Minnesota Statute 609.735 (concealing identity) currently prohibits individuals from wearing masks in public. However, Governor Walz’s executive order voids this statute. Let that sink in. The Governor used his executive order to unilaterally rewrite our state statutes. This whole situation is a constitutional catastrophe.”
State health officials claim that other states are having success controlling the spread of COVID-19 by mandating face coverings in certain settings in accordance with CDC and WHO recommendations.