SJC supports Charlie Baker’s use of emergency powers to fight the COVID-19 epidemic

SJC supports Charlie Baker's use of emergency powers to fight the COVID-19 epidemic

In rejecting a challenge from the Business Owners Group, Cyberbaker’s orders do not violate Article 30 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, which allows for the separation of powers between the three branches of government, and does not “violate the plaintiffs’ federation” or state constitutional rights for practical and substantial due process or free assembly. ”

Cyber ​​noted a significant human number of epidemics.

“COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the Commonwealth, the United States and the world,” he wrote. “According to this writing, in Massachusetts alone, more than 250,000 people have been affected and more than 10,000 have died. In April 2020, the number of epidemics in Massachusetts exceeded 1,500 per day and for most of the month there were COVID-19 to more than 100 deaths per day. Medical number COVID-19 Besides, the number of individuals affected by the virus and control measures is immeasurable, with those who are unable to see loved ones in the hospital due to attendance restrictions behind each infection and each death, or those who have traditionally lost loved ones with family and friends. ”

The Case The owners of the hair and tanning salon, including a North End restaurant and two church pastors – challenged Baker’s authority on behalf of 10 plaintiffs – Michael P. of the new Civil Liberties Alliance. Daniel Huntley Web Debt Consolidation and Co-Chairman of the Web Financial Foundation.

The new Civil Liberties Alliance is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that argues against what it calls an “unconstitutional administrative state” and has raised $ 2 million in contributions from the Charles Koch Foundation. Non-profit Filed.

Dikrantis, the coalition’s senior case adviser, exploded the SJC verdict in a statement.

“Massachusetts is now grazing from the cradle to the grave the principles that love the freedom of the American Revolution,” Dikrantis said. “John Adams must have been wandering in his grave, he and his fellow patriots fought so hard to get rid of arbitrary state orders, and to be established as a republic based on the laws and the consent of the governor. Adams feared so much.”

Dikrantis’ words were echoed in a statement by Mark Zenowett, the coalition’s managing director and general adviser.

“Among other issues, it violates the belief that the Massachusetts Supreme Court will rely heavily on its decision today on the opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court, which was violated last month,” Senowet said. “What do the judges think? … The NCLA will meticulously examine the strong reasons for appealing this decision, which is significant in ignoring the civil rights of Americans. “

Baker’s office did not immediately comment.

The plaintiffs in this case, in part, focused on words 1950 Civil Defense Act, A Cold War law that gives the governor broad powers to deal with enemy attacks, sabotage, riots, fire, flood, or “other natural causes.” Plaintiffs argued that the law did not specify diseases.

But the judges were different. When examining the phrase “other natural causes” … it is clear that this phrase includes an epidemic on the scale of the COVID-19 epidemic, “he wrote to the Cyber ​​Court.

“COVID-19 is a pandemic that has killed more than a million people worldwide, is spreading from person to person, effective vaccines have not yet been distributed, there is no known treatment, and an increase in cases threatens to violate the Commonwealth Hospital system,” to protect public order, health, safety and security. That fact must be taken into account. “

He acknowledged, however, that the purpose of the Civil Defense Act, or the CDA, was limited, and that not every public health emergency could justify major actions taken during an outbreak.

“The unique characteristic of the COVID-19 epidemic is that it has created a situation that cannot be addressed only at the local level,” Cyber ​​wrote. “Only public health crises that exceed the resources and capabilities of local governments and health boards are needed, so the coordination and resources available under the CDA are needed, which are considered for protection under the CDA. Therefore, although we assume that the COVID-19 epidemic will fall within the CDA, all public health emergencies are necessarily within the CDA. We do not consider it necessary to comment on such fabrications. “

The subject matter of previous Globe stories was used in this report.


Travis Anderson can be accessed at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter TAGlobe. Matt Stout can be accessed at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter atmattpstout. Martin Fincon can be accessed at [email protected]

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