Law team pushes state COVID mandates up to Supremes

Staff from all departments of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in in North Chicago, Illinois, come together to support the COVID-19 vaccination effort Jan. 22, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Minh-Thy H. Chu)

The American Freedom Law Center has decided to push state COVID mandates, those thought to violate the constitutional rights of residents, up to the Supreme Court.

The AFLC has filed a petition asking the court to overturn a decision by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The original case challenged Pennsylvania’s COVID rules, and dates back to 2020 already.

In it, four state residents objected to “the Orwellian contact tracing program and mandate to wear masks, claiming that these restrictions violate fundamental constitutional rights.”

The petition explained, “The COVID-19 pandemic created a constitutional crisis. For years, American citizens, including Petitioners, were subject to constantly changing orders that imposed burdens on fundamental freedoms in a way that our nation has never experienced in its history. The cost of these burdens is incalculable. Unfortunately, many courts did nothing, abdicating their duty to say what the law is and allowing this assault on liberty to proceed largely unchecked.”

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It continued, “‘Determination by the [government] of what constitutes proper exercise of police power is not final or conclusive but is subject to supervision by the courts.’ … But this supervision is only effective if the courts are willing to exercise their authority to decide important constitutional questions. Unfortunately, the Courts’ justiciability doctrines (standing, ripeness, mootness) have become convenient excuses for lower courts to surrender their duty to say what the law is, particularly when dealing with the draconian and historic restrictions imposed during the recent pandemic.”

The case was against the governor, the attorney general and secretary of health.

“After denying a request for a preliminary injunction, the district court dismissed the lawsuit, claiming that the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the contact tracing program (even though they were subject to its restrictions and harmed by them) and that their challenge to the mask mandate was moot as the Department of Health unilaterally rescinded the mandate in June 2021, which was eight months after the lawsuit was filed, the AFLC reported.

The petition continues, “While the fear engendered by war, pandemic, or some other crisis might lead politicians, their attorneys, and yes, even judges of the highest order, to assert that patent violations of the Constitution are acceptable (or beyond judicial scrutiny) because public safety interests demand an exception to our most fundamental liberties, history teaches that we will look back on these arguments as ‘gravely wrong . . . overruled in the court of history . . . and . . . [having] no place in law under the Constitution.'”

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