Brief in Support of CA’s Universal Masking Policy is 12th Brief in 9th State Filed by Democracy Forward to Ensure Courts Have Accurate Medical Information from Leading Pediatric Experts

Washington, D.C. — This past Tuesday, on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and its California chapter, Democracy Forward filed an amicus brief urging the Superior Court of California to uphold California’s universal masking policy in K-12 schools. The brief is in response to a legal challenge seeking to block the state’s efforts to protect the health of children in schools and to maintain a safe in-person learning environment through universal masking.

Universal masking saves lives and helps allow children to safely attend school in person. The CDC published a study finding that schools without universal masking policies at the start of the school year were 3.5 times more likely to have COVID-19 outbreaks than schools with universal masking policies. Universal masking and other COVID-19 prevention protocols are particularly important for students with special needs who often lose access to critical supports when they must opt for remote learning to protect their health.

To date, Democracy Forward has filed 12 briefs on behalf of the AAP and its state chapters—the nation’s leading children’s health experts—to ensure the courts have access to the scientific and pediatric consensus around the threat of COVID-19 to kids. These briefs in nine states—Iowa, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Arizona, Utah, Florida, and California—support communities and families’ efforts to protect the health of students.

Courts in Tennessee, California, Iowa, and elsewhere have relied on AAP’s medical experts in upholding school mask policies or striking down efforts to block them. 

“We are honored to represent the American Academy of Pediatrics and its state chapters in this critical fight to protect children’s health and access to a safe learning environment,” said Democracy Forward President and CEO Skye Perryman. “We will continue this work to put the science first and elevate these pediatricians’ expertise as lawsuits over universal mask policies continue to play out across the country.”

The fight continues as conservative state governments and other litigants appeal rulings supporting universal masking policies. Democracy Forward will keep fighting for kids across the country. Follow Democracy Forward’s work to protect children’s health during the pandemic here.

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Democracy Forward is a nonprofit legal organization founded in 2017 to litigate challenges to unlawful government action on behalf of organizations, individuals, and municipalities. The organization has taken 650 legal actions and reversed dozens of harmful policies. Democracy Forward is expanding its work, building on its success to confront unlawful threats to democracy and social progress.

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