November 29, 2023

Supreme Court to Consider Case of GOP Lawmakers Who Broke COVID Mask Restrictions

Three GOP House members could have their case heard by the Supreme Court over refusing to comply with mask mandates in the Capitol Building.

Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Ralph Norman (R-SC) claim the fees associated with their rule-breaking defy their 27th Amendment rights.

“The D.C. Circuit’s opinion ultimately places no limits on Speech or Debate Immunity,” the Republican lawmakers’ attorneys wrote in their petition to the Supreme Court, according to the Hill.

“To let the D.C. Circuit’s opinion stand would be to render the Twenty-Seventh Amendment non-justiciable in violation of this Court and the D.C. Circuit’s own precedents and to open the floodgates to unfathomable discipline," it added.

“[F]inancial retaliation against members of Congress is a tool by which Members’ independence can be degraded,” the lawmakers wrote.

“It is crucial that the Twenty-Seventh Amendment be given effect, lest there be another means by which members of Congress are subjected to retaliation for their decision to act in accordance with the desires of their district rather than the desires of the Speaker of the House," they continued.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who served as House Speaker at the time, and two other defendants, are requested to respond to the plea by Dec. 27.

Despite the end of the pandemic and rolled-back restrictions in the House, the case is an important one regarding the free speech rights of lawmakers.

The three GOP House representatives are committed to taking the case to the nation's highest court if needed to fight Pelosi's fees.

The battles continue to unfold over pandemic restrictions long after the pandemic itself has ended as lawmakers fight over freedoms in the nation's capital.


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