Ritter et al. v. Oklahoma
Ritter et al. v. Oklahoma (Ok. Sup. Court, Sep. 20, 2022): Parents of Oklahoma public school children and the Oklahoma State Medical Association challenged state laws prohibiting local school boards from implementing mask mandates or vaccine requirements. The laws only allowed such measures when both (1) taken in consultation with a local health department and (2) occurring in a jurisdiction in which the governor has declared a state of emergency. The Oklahoma Supreme Court found the provisions unconstitutionally delegated legislative authority to the governor. Oklahoma’s Constitution purposely sets significant limits on the power of the governor, intentionally allowing the governor to exercise “only the power specifically granted by the Legislature.” Additionally, while the legislature can delegate rulemaking authority to the governor, control over local school board decisions cannot be delegated, because the state constitution specifically protects local control over local affairs. Read the full decision here.