Federal Judge Rules Against Michigan Christian School
The Libertas Christian School in Hudsonville is losing its initial court battle with Ottawa County. The school filed a federal lawsuit against the county after health officers posted quarantine and closing notices on the school late last month. The Ottawa County Health Department claims the school has been the site of a COVID-19 virus outbreak and is refusing to cooperate with health officers to get it under control. The school and many parents claim there is no outbreak and believe religious persecution is involved in the county's actions.
Mlive is reporting federal Judge Paul Maloney is ruling that he will not allow immediate relief of the county’s actions to the school. The U.S. District Court Judge in Kalamazoo is indicating that constitutional issues need to first be decided in a state court. That's a very similar first step the Judge took with other COVID-19 related cases from which he sent to the Michigan State Supreme Court which led to the state’s High Court ruling against the administration of Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Attorneys representing the school had argued the school had a right to reopen and that the county’s attempts to force the use of face masks violated religious freedoms. They also questioned the state’s legal footing to issue virus-related rules considering the recent State Supreme Court rulings. But the Judge said none of the state leaders mentioned were served with subpoenas to answer any of the related questions so he wasn’t comfortable issuing a statewide emergency order or declare a state law to be unconstitutional without hearing from those directly involved. The attorney representing the school is promising an immediate appeal of the Judge’s ruling to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals based in Cincinnati.