SC Supreme Court prepares to hear 2 mask lawsuits

Coronavirus

In this Aug. 9, 2021, photo, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic at a news conference in Columbia, S.C. The ACLU, representing parents of children with disabilities and disability rights groups, filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021 against a South Carolina law that bans school districts from imposing mask mandates, arguing that the ban effectively excludes vulnerable students from public schools. Gov. McMaster has said parents should have the choice of whether or not children should wear masks in schools. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins, file)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s highest court will hear two challenges to the state’s refusal to let school districts require masks for students and teachers this week.

The state Supreme Court has set aside two hours to hear the cases Tuesday. South Carolina lawmakers passed an item in the state budget in June threatening school districts with losing state money if they required masks.

The local governments involved in the cases are Columbia and Richland 2 schools. They will likely argue that requiring or banning masks has no place in the state budget, a bill whose purpose is to raise and spend money.

South Carolina law requires legislation to have one clear subject.

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