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 February 21, 2024

Supreme Court denies three GOP House members' $500 mask fine appeal

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the United States dismisses appeals filed by three Republican members of the United States House of Representatives who challenged fines for failing to wear face coverings while on the House floor in 2021.

The justices did not comment on whether or not they would continue to enforce the fines, according to ABC News.

U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), and Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) were each given a fine of $500 in May 2021, and the current Republican leadership has championed that cause, gaining favor among his party, despite the frustration involved in the issue. .

The CDC Guidance

Despite the fact that the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance stating that "fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing themselves," the House of Representatives continued to enforce the mask requirement as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Representatives appeared on the floor of the House of Representatives sans masks, and they even posed for a photo. As of June 2021, the requirement was no longer in effect.

There was a decision made by lower courts that they did not have the authority to evaluate the mask regulation, so they did not interfere with the fines.

Johnson's Involvement

The attorneys representing House Speaker Mike Johnson, who is a Republican, had requested the court to dismiss the appeal from other Republican legislators.

However, they pointed out that Johnson and every other member of the Republican leadership had voted against the mask policy.

In the past, two lower courts have declined to overturn the fines that were handed down to the Republicans.

The lawmakers refusal to wear masks on the House floor during the height of the coronavirus outbreak was a subject of no end of contention.

Greene's Continual Violations

Greene continued to show up for votes without wearing a mask throughout the most of 2021 and into 2022, in contrast to Massie and Norman, who only participated in a brief demonstration.

She finally racked up more than one hundred thousand dollars in fines, which were deducted from her annual pay of seventeen thousand four hundred dollars.

In March of 2022, a district judge in Washington, District of Columbia, dismissed the case brought by the politicians.

Their contention that the fines amounted to an illegal cut in their annual compensation was rejected by the judge, who in turn stated that Pelosi and her staff cannot be sued for decisions that they made while serving in their role as government officials.

Issues of what restrictions should be put on those assembling during the coronavirus pandemic have prompted questions about personal liberty, and continue to cause strife in Washington.

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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