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Coalition of Utah parents appeal lawsuit over COVID-19 health restrictions

Posted at 9:45 AM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-02 15:13:33-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A coalition made up of parents of children in Utah schools will appeal a lawsuit challenging the legislature's moves to curb local health orders on COVID-19.

Greg Skordas, the attorney for the Concerned Coalition of Utah, confirmed to FOX 13 News on Monday he would be filing an appeal with the Utah Supreme Court.

The Concerned Coalition argued that the legislature's laws severely restricting the ability for mask mandates in K-12 schools harmed their children's right to an education under the Utah State Constitution. A judge in Salt Lake City's 3rd District Court dismissed their lawsuit last month, declaring in part that circumstances surrounding COVID-19 — with declining cases — have changed.

In a statement, the coalition said it was asking the state's top court to consider the broader implication of the legislature's moves.

"With Utah’s new public health laws, the State Legislature seriously curbed the ability of local health leaders to protect their communities with proven best practices. The Legislature took authority from local health leaders, placing oversight in the hands of political bodies. Even worse, the Legislature took overall authority for local health orders by granting itself the unchecked ability to overturn them. These laws disregard Utah's Constitution and harm our most vulnerable," said Chris Phillips, the group's president.

The Utah Supreme Court must agree to hear the case for it to advance. The Court can also opt to send the case to the Utah Court of Appeals.