Sixth Circuit Concludes Challenge to Michigan Mask Mandate Is Moot
On Wednesday, the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected an appeal filed by a private religious school and some school parents seeking an injunction against Michigan’s statewide mask mandate. In Resurrection School v. Hertel, the court split 12-1-3, concluding that both the plaintiffs’ interlocutory appeal and underlying appeal were both moot, as the state had already repealed the mandate.
Judge Kethledge wrote the opinion for the court. The opinion is short, direct, and clear. (Seven pages is quite short for an en banc opinion.) It points out that cases typically become moot if circumstances change during the pendency of litigation such that a favorable judgment would have no practical effect. There are potential exceptions to the mootness bar, such as when there are reasons to believe the controversy could repeat while also evading judicial review, but Judge Kethledge explained why none of these exceptions apply here.
Judge Kethledge’s opinion was joined by Chief Judge Sutton and Judges Moore, Cole, Clay Gibbons, White, Stranch, Donald, Thapar, Larsen, Nalbandian, and Murphy. Judge Readler joined in par
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