Judge Lanphear Issues Decision Denying Preliminary Injuction

They say life comes at you fast. Today is one of those days.

It’s a Friday afternoon and a significant decision was handed down by Judge Lanphear in the Parents’ lawsuit against Governor McKee and the Department of Health.

I write this not to criticize Judge Lanphear’s decision, but to simply send Rhode Islanders a message:
Despite Attorney Piccirilli’s strong legal arguments for government accountability,  it would appear that through existing legislation, our courts are not the answer to challenge the mask/vaccine mandates that manifest themselves as an end product of the COVID-19 Emergency Orders.
Judge Lanphear, in fact, found that the Plaintiffs had suffered irreparable harm by virtue of compliance with the mandate. However, despite that,  the Governor & the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), under current law, are entitled to great deference in their determinations of what constitutes an emergency and imminent peril. Under that standard of review, the State wins every time. We must remember that he didn’t seem to base his decision on his personal beliefs, but what I believe he believed was the correct interpretation of the laws that govern these orders:  That even if DOH and Governor McKee could have used more effective methods to protect people from the transmission of the Delta variant, they acted within the broad discretion given to them by law.
The only way to fix this now, at least in Rhode Island, is to vote those elected officials out of office who have made these decisions and laws, and fought against your right to be heard. That includes people from both parties, the executive branch and the legislature. That includes Attorney General Peter Neronha, who has been the very public face of the State defending these mandates in court instead of making his own independent determination about the merits of the case. Remember all of this, and the disappointment many of you feel now, when it comes time to vote for the people who will represent your voice in Rhode Island government.
It is unfortunate that these issues have become more political than science-based, but that is now the unfortunate reality of the situation. Elect independent thinking, common-sense based people who will represent the interests you believe in all the time, particularly those issues of grave public importance such as this.

I intend to provide a comprehensive legal analysis of the decision shortly. I felt compelled to respond to this decision today in light of its importance to all Rhode Islanders, no matter their opinion on the matter.

PC-2021-5915 decision (mask mandate)


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