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No decision reached at Let Them Breathe hearing

Judge Cynthia Freeland grasps her hands in a Vista courtroom during a hearing. Sept. 30, 2021.
Pool photo via FOX5
Judge Cynthia Freeland grasps her hands in a Vista courtroom during a hearing. Sept. 30, 2021.

A lawsuit over a California mask mandate for schools will get another day in court.

On Monday, Judge Cynthia Freeland heard two hours of arguments in the suit filed by Let Them Breathe against the state and Gov. Gavin Newsom in her Vista courtroom.

Let Them Breathe opposes mask mandates, testing, and quarantine protocols in schools. The group’s attorneys argued Newsom exceeded his power, and said the current conditions no longer warrant a state of emergency. They also said the lawsuit was a "check" to keep Newsom from using an "extraordinary amount of legislative authority" and acting as a "king."


State representatives argued masks are part of a layered mitigation approach to prevent the spread of COVID-19, an approach that has been accepted by public health officials and the American Academy of Pediatrics. They also said there is no law in place setting a date when the Governor needs to lift the state of emergency.

Judge Freeland questioned whether her court had the authority to define the conditions that warrant an emergency, and after Let Them Breathe attorneys said there was only a minor benefit for masking in school, pointed out that even a minor benefit is still a benefit.

Judge Freeland said that this lawsuit is a "significant issue on both sides," and will set another date for both parties to present their evidence. No date has been set yet.

The child care industry has long been in crisis, and COVID-19 only made things worse. Now affordable, quality care is even more challenging to find, and staff are not paid enough to stay in the field. This series spotlights people each struggling with their own childcare issues, and the providers struggling to get by.