HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Masking Up: A COVID-19 Face-off between Anti-Mask Laws and Mandatory Mask Orders for Black Americans

Caroline Lawrence (Yale Law School), Masking Up: A COVID-19 Face-off between Anti-Mask Laws and Mandatory Mask Orders for Black Americans, Ca. L. Rev. Online (2020, Forthcoming):

Mandatory PPE orders during COVID-19 have forced Black Americans to weigh the dangers of disease against the dangers of selective enforcement and racial profiling. In states with civil rights-era anti-mask laws, both wearing and eschewing masks could lead to police interaction. This Article argues that anti-mask laws were only superficially intended to protect Black Americans, continue to harm minorities during COVID-19, and should be repealed. It motivates this policy by empirically showing the ineffectiveness of anti-mask laws and the statistically significant relationships between PPE usage patterns and race. A revisionist legal history reveals anti-mask laws’ racist underpinnings, further motivating their repeal.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/healthlawprof_blog/2020/10/masking-up-a-covid-19-face-off-between-anti-mask-laws-and-mandatory-mask-orders-for-black-americans.html

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