• We The People Podcast

Can Governors Ban School Mask Mandates?

September 02, 2021

Legal battles over masks in schools are being fought across the country—in states including Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, Nevada, and Texas—and the U.S. Department of Education recently announced a civil rights investigation into mask mandate bans in several states. 

This week’s episode explores lawsuits brought against governors who took action to try to ban local mask mandates in schools, as well as challenges to state school mask mandates brought by people who say their individual rights were violated. We also address broader questions raised by this debate regarding the balance of power in America, and whether the Supreme Court might intervene. Host Jeffrey Rosen was joined by Charles C. W. Cooke, senior writer for National Review, and professor Jennifer Selin of the University of Missouri. 


This episode was produced by Jackie McDermott and engineered by David Stotz. Research was provided by Alexandra "Mac" Taylor, Amy Lu, Olivia Gross, and Lana Ulrich.


Charles C. W. Cooke is a senior writer for National Review—where he has covered the ongoing controversies surrounding masking policies in schools—and is the former editor of National Review Online

Dr. Jennifer Selin is Kinder Institute Assistant Professor of Constitutional Democracy in the University of Missouri’s Department of Political Science. She has written several pieces on this topic and the federalism issues surrounding COVID-19. 

Jeffrey Rosen is the president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization devoted to educating the public about the U.S. Constitution. Rosen is also professor of law at The George Washington University Law School and a contributing editor of The Atlantic.

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