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Corman v. Acting Sec’y of the Pa. Dep’t of Health

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

November 10, 2021

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court voided the state’s Masking Order, which “imposed an open-ended general masking requirement on all teachers, students, school staff, and visitors within Pennsylvania’s schools, regardless of vaccination status”. The issue before an en banc panel of the Court was whether the Masking Order represented a rule or regulation subject to the formal requirements for regulatory rulemaking and, if so, whether a statute or regulation authorized the Acting Secretary to promulgate the Order. The Court ruled that the Acting Secretary issued the Masking Order, which was a regulation, without complying with the mandatory rulemaking requirements of the Commonwealth Documents Law and the Regulatory Review Act. But the Acting Secretary did not possess the authority to promulgate a new regulation without compliance with the formal rulemaking requirements. Thus, the Court voided the Masking Order. Commonwealth Court-1, Science-0.

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