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Arkansas judge blocks state from enforcing mask mandate ban

Posted at 7:14 PM, Aug 06, 2021

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas judge has temporarily blocked the state from enforcing a law that prevents schools and other governmental agencies from requiring masks.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox on Friday issued a preliminary injunction against the law Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed in April.

Hutchinson previously said he regretted signing the law.

“Our cases were at a low point. Everything has changed now, and yes, in hindsight, I wish that had not become law,” Hutchinson said.

Fox’s decision came shortly after Arkansas lawmakers left the ban in place, ending a session Hutchinson called to consider rolling it back for some schools.

Fox said the law violates the Arkansas Constitution by discriminating between public and private school students, according to the Associated Press.

The AP reports Fox said the law also infringes on the governor’s emergency powers, as well as the authority of county officials and the state Supreme Court.