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After so-called moderate goes full MAGA

Seven school districts have sued newly-elected Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin over his executive order ending a statewide school mask mandate, one of several executive orders Youngkin has signed that have undercut his “moderate” campaign image. During his campaign against former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe, Youngkin sought to distance himself from former President Donald Trump and was…

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Seven schools have sued the newly elected Virginia Governor. Glenn Youngkin was sued by seven school districts over an executive order he signed to end a statewide school-mask mandate. This is one of many executive orders Youngkin signed that have undermined his “moderate” campaign image.

During his campaign against Terry McAuliffe (Democratic governor), Youngkin tried to distain himself from former President Donald Trump. He was described in mainstream media as a “moderate conservative “. After taking office, he went full Ron DeSantis and issued nearly 12 executive orders his first day. These orders addressed many of the most important conservative culture-war issues.

Youngkin, a former private equity executive, issued an order barring school mask mandates, despite vowing on the campaign trail that he would allow local governments to decide their mask policies. He also issued orders banning employer vaccination requirements and teaching “critical race theory” (which is not taught in public school) and cutting government regulations. On Monday, Youngkin announced a special tip line for parents to report teachers who discuss “divisive” topics in the classroom. He has also nominated former Trump EPA chief Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who decimated federal environmental protections, to be his secretary of natural resources.

But, as with DeSantis’s executive actions and others who sought to ban schools from wearing masks, the first set of his executive actions was met with legal challenges. Seven school districts that serve a combined 350,000 students filed a lawsuit in state court challenging Youngkin’s mask mandate ban.

RELATED: Virginia’s new GOP governor calls on parents to report teachers for “divisive” subjects

The lawsuit “defends the right of school boards to enact policy at the local level, including policies that protect the health and well-being of all students and staff,” the districts said in a statement to The New York Times.

The suit challenges Youngkin’s authority to “unilaterally exceed” the authority of school boards, under both Virginia law and the Virginia constitution.

” Without today’s action school boards are in a legally untenable situation — they face an executive order that conflicts with the constitution or state law.” The lawsuit states. It goes on to argue that schools have “students and staff members who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19, and for whom an infection with the virus could lead to serious illness or death. “

Youngkin also faces a lawsuit from 13 parents, arguing that his executive order “rejects the recommendations of the CDC” and violates state law.

In all, 58 of the state’s 130 school districts have either filed lawsuits or pledged to keep their mask mandates in place, according to The Washington Post.


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Youngkin spokeswoman Macaulay Porter told the Times that the governor was “disappointed that these school boards are ignoring parents’ rights” and is committed to fighting the lawsuit.

“They haven’t been recognizing the rights of parents all along,” Youngkin told conservative radio host John Fredericks on Monday. “So I don’t find it surprising to hear these reactions from school board members who have tended to prioritize politicians and bureaucrats over parents’ rights. “

Youngkin presented the issue in partisan terms and argued that the public opinion regarding mask mandates was “moving against left liberals.” He later acknowledged in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that he has consulted with other Republican governors as he begins his term. Youngkin mentioned DeSantis. Although Youngkin didn’t confirm the identity of those he had spoken to, Youngkin said that it was a great support system. We are seeing states that are led by Republicans outperforming those led by Democrats. “

It’s a remarkably quick turnaround for a candidate whose campaign vowed just before the election that Youngkin “would not go quite as far as DeSantis” and would “leave the policy decision about masks up to local school districts and ‘strongly encourage’ them to let individual parents decide.” Even after his win, Youngkin said that “localities are going to have to make decisions the way the law works. “

Fredericks served on both Trump’s presidential campaigns and told the Post that he was pleasantly surprised by Youngkin’s right-wingness when he was looking for votes.

“He is Trump in a red vest,” Fredericks refers to the vest that the ex-executive from private equity wore while on the campaign trail. It’s exceeded everyone’s expectations. … From the beginnin

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