The Lansing Catholic school that sued the state over its mask mandate lost in federal court

Church of the Resurrection school in Lansing
Posted at 8:36 AM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 08:36:12-04

LANSING, Mich. — A Lansing Catholic school that sued the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, claiming the state didn't have the right to require children to wear masks inside the school, has lost in federal court but plans to appeal the decision.

The case, Resurrection School v. Hertel, was first filed in October in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan and then appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit where the district court sided with the state.

The Court of Appeals' three judge panel ruled in the state's favor 2 to 1, rejecting arguments that the state's mask order violated the free exercise or equal protection clauses of the Constitution and dismissing claims that it had violated due process. In its ruling, the court noted that the mask requirements, "are rationally related to a legitimate government interest."

State Attorney General Dana Nessel celebrated the ruling, saying in a statement, “As science has proven and now the Sixth Circuit agrees, enacting a mask mandate in the manner in which MDHHS did so does not violate one’s rights—it is a measure by which we can better protect public health.”

Erin Mersino, an attorney with the Great Lakes Justice Center, said the school plans to appeal the decision to the full Sixth Circuit.