Thomas Massie, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Ralph Norman argue a lower court’s decision could mean ‘medieval forms of punishment’ in Congress
Three Republican lawmakers are asking the Supreme Court to hear their lawsuit arguing that fines imposed upon them when they broke a 2020 mask mandate were unconstitutional. Reps. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Ralph Norman, R-S.C., all violated a Congressional mask mandate imposed in the summer of 2020 at the height of the COVID pandemic.
In a lawsuit against Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who was Speaker of the House at the time, and two House officers from the Republicans were shot down by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ruled that Pelosi and others had immunity from lawsuits under the Constitution’s Speech and Debate Clause, which provides legal protection for lawmakers who are carrying out the duties of their job.
In an appeal to the Supreme Court, the Republican lawmakers’ lawyers argued the ruling gives no boundaries to that legal immunity. “The House Rules, under this Doctrine, could impose physical punishment, flogging, or even more medieval forms of punishment, upon members and, under the D.C. Circuit’s precedent, no judicial remedy would be available, the Eighth Amendment notwithstanding,” their petition reads.
Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) contend their $500 pay deductions violated the Constitution’s 27th Amendment, which prohibits salary adjustments for members of Congress from taking effect until after the next election.