The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on Friday that California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 restriction barring private schools from in-person classes is unconstitutional.
The Center for American Liberty and 20 plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in July 2020 challenging Newsom’s closing of all in-person classes for schools. “Several of those plaintiffs said Newsom overstepped his authority and acted illegally by denying parents control over their children’s education,” the Epoch Times reported.
“California’s forced closure of their private schools implicates a right that has long been considered fundamental under the applicable caselaw—the right of parents to control their children’s education and to choose their children’s educational forum,” Judge Daniel Collins ruled on Friday.
However, the court upheld barring public school in-person classes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Harmeet Dhillon, the head of the Center for American Liberty, said in a statement, “While we are thrilled for our clients whose rights are vindicated by today’s decision, we are disappointed the Ninth Circuit did not rule that all students, including those in public school, have a basic right to an education. We will continue to advocate for the educational rights of all students.”
In a statement to the Los Angeles Times on Friday, Newsom’s office said, “Throughout this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, the state was guided by science and data—prioritizing the health and safety of students, staff, and their families while supporting schools to meet the needs of students and return to in-person learning quickly. All students are returning to full, in-person instruction next year, and the state is focused on ensuring that return is successful.”