COLE COUNTY, MISSOURI- December 8th, 2021– In November, a judge firmly issued a declaratory judgment. Stating that public health laws CANNNOT simply overrule a representative government. The suit came in response to school closures, mask mandates, and other restrictions ordered by local health authorities in the state.
The order came at the behest of Shannon Robinson, B&R STL, and Church of the Word, which filed the action seeking a declaratory judgment, which the Court granted. Further, the order directs the Director of the state’s Department of Health to provide copies of the order to all local health authorities in Missouri.
The Contents of the Order
The Judge’s Order reads: “This case is about whether Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services regulations can abolish representative government in the creation of public health laws… This Court finds it cannot.”
In its decision, the Court laid out the following claims that:
- DHSS regualtions violate the seperation of powers under Missouri’s Constiution
- Regulations that delegate unbridaled rulemaking to an administrative offical based on “necessity” are invalid,
- Regulations based on an administrative officials opinion to close a school or assebembly are invalid,
- DHSS regulations violated the Missouri Administrative Procedure Act,
- DHSS regulations were inconsistent with the framework established by Missouri’s statutes,
- And the regulations were inconsistant with the equal protection clause of Missouri’s Constiiution.
In response, the Court ordered the regulations were invalid. And ordered local health authorities to refrain from passing any such legislation in any manner “inconsistent with this opinion.” Finally, the order directs the Director of the Department of Health to forward this order to all local health authorities throughout Missouri.
Here’s the deal, Departments of Health have been a significant source of invalid law and rulemaking throughout 2020 and 2021. Departments of Health are not lawmakers, though they can make rules within the rulemaking process. However, this rulemaking process is loosely enforced and requires a vigilant public to police.