Lawsuit Will Ask Supreme Court To Review Baker’s Pandemic Policy
As the great writer, actor, director, and jack-of-all-trades Orson Welles once said, "Nobody gets justice. People only get good luck or bad luck."
Western Mass News reports that a group comprised of small businesses and churches is filing a petition asking the Supreme Court to consider a case that was initially rejected in December by the state's highest court.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit were seeking to overturn some of Governor Baker's executive orders that put business and other gathering restrictions in place. In the initial ruling, the Supreme Judicial Court said that state law gave the governor "expansive discretionary powers" in the face of an emergency. The court ruled that the law does include the phrase "other natural causes", and the pandemic fit within that definition.
Supreme Judicial Court Justice Elspeth Cypher wrote in the decision:
We conclude that the CDA(Civil Defense Act), through the phrase 'other natural causes', encompasses a health crisis on the level of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The New Civil Liberties Alliance, the organization that represents the group, said on Monday they were in the process of filing a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.
Mike DeGrandis, an NCLA attorney, said he believes the state's top court applied "exceedingly lax" standards when it evaluated Baker's restrictions on the right to assemble, and well as the plaintiffs' due process rights.
Meanwhile, Governor Baker had this to say about the issue:
The vast majority of the guidance and the advisories that we put into place over the course of the past 15 months have been pretty consistent with the public health recommendations that have come from either the feds or from our colleagues at DPH and are pretty consistent with what most other states have done as well.
The Fiscal Alliance Foundation has supported the NCLA in their legal challenge of Baker's emergency orders. The state is expected to fully reopen by August 1, and Baker said that may mean the end of the temporary orders.
Visit Western Mass News' website here for much more on the story.
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