News (USA)

Supreme Court tells Marjorie Taylor Greene’s anti-mask lawsuit to kiss off

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene laughed at the suggestion that monkeypox is a global health threat
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) Photo: Screenshot

The Supreme Court has refused to hear a lawsuit brought by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) against fines she received for ignoring a mandatory masking rule at the Capitol during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Greene — a notorious anti-vaxxer and COVID “truther” (that is, one who peddles conspiracy theories against COVID-19 vaccinations) — was one of three Republican representatives who were charged fines for refusing to wear masks on the House floor.

House Democrats approved the rule. The rule fined legislators $500 for their first infraction and $2,500 for each one after. Greene accumulated over $100,000 in fines for refusing to wear masks, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Two other Republicans — Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Ralph Norman (R-SC) — also broke the rule. The legislators later said in their lawsuit that the Democrats sought to “force Republicans to be instruments in fostering public adherence to an ideological viewpoint,” the Courthouse News Service reported. As such, the Republicans considered their rule-breaking as a form of protest.

“Nancy Pelosi did this by edict. There’s no law. She changed this rule on her own,” Massie said at a press conference announcing the lawsuit. “She did it unconstitutionally.”

Greene and her fellow rule-breakers filed a lawsuit to dismiss the fines. All three claimed that the 27th Amendment, which prevents Congress from changing lawmaker’s salaries in between elections, made the fines unconstitutional.

A federal judge in D.C. tossed their lawsuit in 2022, stating that the legislators couldn’t sue then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) because she had passed the rule while working as a member of the federal government. In June, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed the ruling.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court declined to hear Greene’s appeal, offering no reason for their rejection. As such, the fines against her and the other legislators will stand.

All three legislators have supported anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the past, including a federal “Don’t Say Gay” bill. They also voted against the Respect for Marriage Act, a bipartisan law that requires federal, state, and local governments to recognize legal same-sex marriages.

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