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Governor Baker sued by group over COVID-19 response



A group has sued Governor Baker over what they say is unjustified “draconian, “one-size-fits-all” measures across the Commonwealth” concerning his COVID-19 response involving businesses.

Monday, the New Civil Liberties Alliance, based out of Washington D.C., filed a complaint in Massachusetts Superior Court representing local entrepreneurs, church pastors, and the headmaster of a private school against Governor Baker’s orders. The lawsuit aims to overturn the Civil Defense State of Emergency, which Baker declared, and allow all businesses to reopen immediately.

In a statement, the group stated that they felt the Governor’s orders are invalid because the COVID-19 pandemic is not a “civil defense emergency.”

“The Civil Defense Act is a 1950’s-era statute designed to protect the Commonwealth from foreign invasions, armed insurrections, and civil unrest associated with natural disasters. It has never before been invoked for a health emergency.”

NCLA released the following statements:

“By applying the Civil Defense Act instead of the Public Health Act, the governor has seized extra power to which he is not entitled. Fear of a deadly virus is not a reason to abandon constitutional governance. Governor Baker doesn’t have the power to make law by royal decree—lawmaking is the legislature’s exclusive responsibility. Bay Staters can best protect each other’s lives and livelihoods through solutions passed by their legislators—the elected officials most familiar with the needs of the local communities they serve.”

–Michael P. DeGrandis, Senior Litigation Counsel, NCLA

“I don’t think the Governor knows the chaos that his arbitrary orders are creating. He is picking the winners and the losers of this pandemic crisis by telling us how to run our businesses. It’s time to return the business decision-making back to the business owners.”

–Robert Walker, Plaintiff, Apex Entertainment LLC & Devens Common Conference Center LLC

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