Arguments Heard In Lawsuit Against Gov. Baker's State Of Emergency


BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Oral arguments were heard by the state's Supreme Court Friday, in a case that pitted business owners, pastors, and educators against Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

The plaintiffs of the lawsuit, who represented by attorney Michael DeGrandis of the New Civil Liberties Alliance, argued that Gov. Baker overreached when he ordered a state of emergency under the Civil Defense Act, forcing many businesses and organizations to close.

"The Civil Defense Act makes no mention of disease," DeGrandis said. "And no disease, no pandemic, has ever triggered a Civil Defense Act State of Emergency."

A CDA State of Emergency would be covered by the Public Health and Service Act, which gives the government power to effectuate quarantine. Assistant Attorney General Douglas Martland contended that the point is moot, since the Governor's emergency declaration cited both statutes.

"The Governor's position is that all of that authority was essential," Martland said, "because the Commissioner of Public Health's authority does not extend far enough to respond to the pandemic."

WBZ NewsRadio's Chris Fama reports:

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