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Appellate court won't overturn Springfield judge's order on school mask mandate

A gavel rests on a judge's bench in a blurry courtroom. The text "WCBU Courts" sits on top of that photo.

A state appellate court says it won’t be reversing the decision of a Springfield judge that essentially ended Illinois’ school mask mandate.

In a decision late Thursday, the Fourth District Appellate Court denied the Pritzker administration’s appeal of that judge’s temporary restraining order. The appellate court cited the recent vote by a panel of lawmakers to suspend the latest version of COVID-19 mitigations for public schools. The appellate court says that makes the issue “moot.”

"Because the emergency rules voided by the TRO are no longer in effect, a controversy regarding the application of those rules no longer exists. Thus, the matter is moot," the appellate court wrote.

Unit 5 and District 87 had already announced a change to mask-optional. Most other school districts in McLean County already did so after the Springfield judge’s order earlier this week.”

This story will be updated.

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Contact Ryan at rmdenha@ilstu.edu or (309) 438-5426.