PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Arizona schools can now decide for themselves whether students and staff should wear a mask, according to a Superior Court ruling.

The decision comes days after a new CDC report was released, showing that mask mandates work. Data shows schools that don't require masks are 3 and half times more likely to have a COVID-19 outbreak.

Dr. Andrew Carrol is a family medicine physician in Chandler, who is hoping the court decision will convince other school districts to require masks.

"That's scientific research, it's right there," said Dr. Carroll. "That should be enough evidence for these learned folks, who run our schools to really make the right choice."

The judge's decision to toss out the ban on mask mandates was based on the fact it was inserted into the state budget, when it had nothing to do with the budget, according to court records. Other laws were also thrown out for the same reason. They include a ban on vaccine requirements at public universities, community colleges and local governments.

Election related laws were also tossed out. They would have taken away the Secretary of State’s authority to defend Arizona election law and put new security measures on ballots to prevent voter fraud.

A law that banned teaching controversial topics at school was also thrown out. "For teachers as facilitators, to feel like they are currently under fire and under scrutiny, for even what the kids might accidentally say, and who is taking that home and reporting it differently, it's really not a great way to encourage a great classroom."

Governor's Ducey's office released this statement following the court ruling.

“We are still reviewing the ruling, but this decision is clearly an example of judicial overreach. Further action will be taken to challenge this ruling and ensure separation of powers is maintained.”

Former state lawmaker Stan Barnes, with Copper State Consulting, said the court's decision to uphold limits on what's allowed in the budget, could have a major impact on how Arizona laws are passed in the future.

"If the court ruling holds, we will go back to a simple and pure form of budget making dealing only with budgets, and not with mask mandates or anything else extraneous to it," said Barnes.


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