He says the governor’s orders to fight the coronavirus are unconstitutional.
Frederick, Md (KM) An appeal is expected to be filed by a Frederick County Legislator after a lawsuit against the Governor was dismissed. The original suit filed by Delegate Dan Cox (R) and other plaintiffs, including business people and ministers, claims orders issued by Governor Larry Hogan to help fight the COVID-19 virus are unconstitutional and infringe on citizens’ rights to come and go as they please. A federal judge last week dismissed the case.
“The judge has basically kicked the can down the road,” Cox said during a recent appearance on WFMD’s “Mid-Maryland Live. “She said as to the state constitutional issues, those are claims she basically handed over to the state courts to decide.”
US District Judge Catherine Blake, in dismissing the case, said the Governor’s orders are not arbitrary and unreasonable, and do not violate the US Constitution.
Cox said state law doesn’t allow some of the things the Governor has done in his executive orders. . “You’ve had executive orders written that are not permitted in the statutes such everything from locking people into their homes. There’s nothing in the statute that says the Governor can lock down businesses,” he said.
In urging people to stay home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, Governor Hogan said it does not prevent anyone from going outside to jog, or take their dogs for a walk, or do yardwork.
Cox says he will take action when the General Assembly convenes next year. He says he has prefiled a resolution which ends the state of emergency which the Governor imposed earlier this year, and is still in affect. He also plans to introduce legislation dealing with the Governor’s powers to issue states of emergency. “So I call it ‘Consent of the Governed Act.’ And what it does is it limits the emergency powers to 14 days. We were told 14 days to bend the curve. So the Governor can say in time of emergency, 14 days. At that point, the Legislature has to be consulted,” he said.
“My constituents here in Frederick and Carroll Counties are very upset at the ongoing, continuous misuse of these extended emergency orders,” says Cox. “The statutes says 30 days. And instead, it now been extended, I think, 300 days.”
During the interview on “Mid-Maryland Live,” Cox discussed the idea of this case reaching the US Supreme Court.
By Kevin McManus