The Supreme Judicial Council supports Charlie Baker using emergency powers to combat the COVID-19 pandemic

The Supreme Judicial Council supports Charlie Baker using emergency powers to combat the COVID-19 pandemic

In response to the appeal filed by a group of employers, Cypher said that Baker’s orders also do not violate Article 30 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, which provides for the separation of powers between the three branches of government, and has not violated federal “prosecutors.” Or the constitutional rights of the state in due procedural and substantive procedures or free assembly. “

Cypher noted the large human toll from the epidemic.

“COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll in the Commonwealth countries, the United States and the world,” she wrote. “As of this writing, in Massachusetts alone, more than 250,000 people have been infected and more than 10,000 have died. During the April 2020 increase in Massachusetts, the number of infections often exceeded 1,500 per day and there were more than a hundred deaths per day from COVID-19. For the majority of the month, in addition to the medical losses caused by COVID-19, the personal losses caused by the virus and the containment measures were incalculable. Behind every infection and every death are those who were unable to visit their loved ones in hospital due to visiting restrictions, or who were unable to grieve over Loss of loved ones with family and friends the traditional way. “

The lawsuit Baker’s authority was lifted on behalf of 10 plaintiffs – including the hair and tanning salon owners, a North End restaurant owner, and two church pastors – by Michael B. Financial Alliance Foundation.

The New Civil Liberties Coalition is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit that advocates for what it calls “the unconstitutional administrative state” and has received up to $ 2 million in contributions from the Charles Koch Foundation, according to Nonprofit filings.

DeGrandis, the coalition’s chief litigation advisor, criticized the Supreme Judicial Council’s ruling in a statement.

“Massachusetts has now nurtured the freedom-loving principles of the American Revolution from cradle to grave,” Degandes said. “John Adams must spin in his grave upon hearing the news that the colony that he and his patriots had fought so hard to liberate from arbitrary royal decrees, and to establish it as a republic based on government of laws and the consent of the governed, became what Adams feared most.”

DeGrandis’ words echo in the statement by Mark Chenoweth, coalition executive and general counsel.

“Among other problems,” Chenoweth said, “It challenges the belief that the Massachusetts Supreme Court will rely heavily in its decision today on the opinion of the US Supreme Court, which was revoked last month.” “What are the judges thinking? … NCLA will closely examine the strongest grounds for appealing this decision, which is remarkable in its reckless disregard for the civil liberties of Americans.”

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Baker’s office did not immediately comment.

The plaintiffs focused in part on wording Civil Defense Act of 1950, A law dating back to the Cold War era that gives the ruler broad authority in the face of enemy attacks, sabotage, riots, fires, floods, or “other natural causes.” The plaintiffs argued that the law did not mention diseases.

But the judges differed. Cypher wrote to the court: “On examining the phrase ‘other natural causes’ … it is clear that the phrase includes a pandemic on the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Since COVID-19 is a pandemic that has claimed more than a million lives worldwide, it spreads from person to person, effective vaccines have not yet been distributed, there is no known treatment, and the high number of cases threatens to bypass the commonwealth hospital system, it is a natural cause It requires action to “protect public peace, health, security and safety, and to preserve the lives and property of the people of the Commonwealth,” Cypher continued.

It acknowledged, however, that the scope of the Civil Defense Act, or CDA, is limited and that every public health emergency does not justify comprehensive measures taken during a pandemic.

Cypher wrote: “The hallmark of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it has created a situation that cannot only be addressed locally.” “Only those public health crises that exceed the resources and capacities of local governments and health boards, and thus require coordination and resources available under the CDA, are expected to be covered under the CDA. Therefore, although we believe that the COVID-19 pandemic falls within the CDA, we do not believe that all public health emergencies will necessarily fall under the CDA, and we do not believe that when public health data related to COVID-19 shows stable improvement, the threshold will not be crossed. It is no longer an emergency under the CDA. “

Material from previous Globe stories was used for this report.


Travis Andersen can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter Embed a Tweet. Matt Stout can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter Embed a Tweet. Martin Finucane can be reached at [email protected]

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