Court Smacks Down House Republicans’ Lawsuit Over Mask Policy Fines

Masks haven’t been required on the floor of the House of Representatives for more than a year, but Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), and Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) were challenging fines they incurred when the covid-19 mitigation policy was in place. They argued the policy violated both their First Amendment right to free speech and their 27th Amendment entitlement to their salary.

The court said neither argument mattered because of another part of the Constitution, which shields members of Congress from being brought into court over legislative acts.

“We cannot consider the merits of the Representatives’ constitutional arguments because their suit concerns legislative acts protected by the Speech or Debate Clause,” three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled.

Trump appointee, Naomi Rao wrote the decision, Appointees of Clinton and Biden joined in.

The House passed a resolution in January 2021 authorizing fines of $500 for a first failure to comply with masking rules in the chamber and $2,500 for subsequent offenses, deducted from their $174,000 annual pay. In late 2021, a spokesman for Greene said she had incurred $48,000 in fines. She and the other lawmakers argued the rules were inconsistently applied and that their decision to go maskless on the House floor was a form of protest.


About Surley 2558 Articles
No hell below us, Above us only sky, Get over it