HARRISBURG – House Health Committee Majority Chair Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest) issued the following statement in response to today’s Commonwealth Court decision to overturn acting Health Secretary Alison Beam’s statewide school masking mandate:
“Although today’s ruling was closely divided, the final decision to void this highly controversial school masking mandate is a resounding victory for our foundational, constitutional separation of powers, the rule of law, local control, parental and student rights, and especially individual liberty.
“In fact, the final written conclusions supporting the majority verdict in this case closely mirrors the arguments that were consistently advanced by the House Health Committee when formulating our own petition for review of this mask mandate by the Commonwealth Court.
“First, Pennsylvania’s Regulatory Review Act was enacted to foster executive branch accountability and to ensure ultimate review of regulations by the General Assembly.
“By completely circumventing the regulatory review process, acting Secretary Beam refuses to acknowledge that the governor’s disaster emergency declaration was restricted by Pennsylvania voters on May 18 and terminated by the General Assembly on June 10.
“With the governor’s emergency declaration no longer in effect, the unelected health secretary’s ‘broad emergency powers’ to impose mandates outside the normal and required parameters of the regulatory review process no longer apply.
“Most importantly, today’s ruling stands against the inherent dangers of exclusively exercising government authority through one single branch as expressed by James Madison in Federalist Number 47: ‘The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary in the same hands, whether of one, or a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.’
“In all matters involving universal masking requirements, mandatory vaccinations and economic lockdowns, liberty must always prevail.”
Representative Kathy Rapp
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Ty McCauslin