They want a constitutional review of the stay-at-home order.
Frederick, Md (KM) One Frederick County legislator is one of 18 plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Governor Larry Hogan over the stay at home order. Speaking recently on WFMD’s “Morning News Express,” Delegate Dan Cox said he and the other plaintiffs want the courts to conduct a constitutional review of the Governor’s order requiring Marylanders who remain at home as a way to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“We’re going against the Governor, not because of any personal animus, but in terms of the official capacity. You have to do that because the Governor is the one solely controlling every single executive order. They are coming straight from him,” he says. “So the question as to whether or not they overextend the statutes or the Constitution has to be something that’s looked at by the courts.”
In the interview, Cox referred to the stay-at-home orders as a house arrest. “Some have pushed back ‘It not really. You can leave your house.’ No, you can’t unless you’re doing a very specific, essential job that the Governor has declared is allowed by his choice. And that is a par-for-the-course definition of what a house arrest is,” he says.
The Governor’s order says residents can leave their homes to go essential jobs, or to purchase food and medicines. He’s also said people can go out to exercise, walk the dog, or mow the lawn and do other yard work.
In another development, Delegate Cox says he was advised by a law enforcement official that he should not speak at a rally Saturday at the FSK Mall in Frederick in support of citizens who want the state to reopen its economy, or he could be arrested. “That concerned me greatly. My wife and I have family, and I certainly want to fight for our freedom and speak up. But to be chilled into silence, I didn’t take that lightly,” he says.
When he asked the Governor’s Office about this, Cox says he was told to “please see the Governor’s order prohibiting large gathering. When you look at that order, it says that it is a crime to participate in a large gathering at this time under the Governor’s March 17th order.”
That order prohibits gatherings of more ten people.
The Governor’s Office is taking issue with the lawsuit and the alleged threat against Delegate Cox. Spokesman Mike Ricci told the Frederick News-Post that Cox has the right to protest and speak his mind and even file a lawsuit. But, RIcci says, the Delegate does not have the right to make false accusations. He also stated that a majority of Marylanders support the Governor’s actions in order to save lives.
Governor Larry Hogan himself said he understands the feelings of many people who’ve lost their jobs due to the coronavirus, and he’s as anxious as anyone to get the economy reopened. “I see this happening around the country as states try to open in a safe way. Unfortunately, the pressure is to do it in a not-safe way. and that ‘s something we’re very concerned. about, and one of the reasons why we’re being cautious and trying to things in a slow, safe and effective manner,” the Governor said. He was a guest Sunday on “State of the Union” on CNN.
By Kevin McManus