NY mask mandate decision looms

On Friday, yet another court hearing will decide the fate of New York's indoor mask mandate.

As COVID cases decline across the region, emotions are running high on both sides of the debate.

When it comes to Governor Kathy Hochul’s mask mandate, Eric Alexander of the Long Island Main Street Alliance says businesses just want a decision. 

"I think folks want their businesses to be safe and they certainly follow the guidelines and standards but they’re to a point where they want their businesses to get past this," he said.  

The appeals court hearing will decide whether Governor Hochul and the state Health Commissioner overstepped their authority when they imposed the mask mandate. 

RELATED: NY indoor mask mandate stays in place after confusing day

The controversy began earlier this week after a Nassau County State Supreme Court judge ruled it was unconstitutional. An appeal was filed hours later. And the next day a state appellate court judge decided the mask mandate would stay in place until Friday’s hearing. 

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James Sample is a professor of constitutional law at Hofstra Law School. He says timing is everything especially since the mask mandate is set to expire next month anyway. 

"There’s a reasonable chance that if the appellate division panel takes time to decide this that effectively Governor Hochul and the administration will be able to maintain the mask mandate and essentially run out the clock on the lower court ruling," he said. 

Parents are also in legal limbo as school districts continue to send mixed messages on whether masks must be worn.

Law experts explain this case has been expedited especially since the lower court decision came down less than a week ago. It is however hard to pinpoint how long the judges will take to make a ruling. Many parents and business owners out here hope it’s sooner than later.