Greene, Massie, Norman sue Pelosi over mask fines
Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Thomas Massie (Ky.) and Ralph Norman (S.C.) are suing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) after the Republicans were fined $500 for not wearing masks on the House floor.
The lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is the latest in the back-and-forth between GOP lawmakers and Pelosi over mask mandates.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to determine that the fines are unconstitutional, and to bar the fines from being imposed.
The House Ethics Committee announced last week that it was upholding fines against several GOP lawmakers — including Greene, Massie and Norman — that were levied in May after the lawmakers protested a requirement to wear masks on the House floor.
House Democrats voted in January to levy fines of $500 for the first offense and $2,500 for the second offense.
The lawmakers protested the mask mandate in May because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated people didn’t need to wear masks in most settings.
The guidance was updated last month to state that those who are unvaccinated or “vaccination-indeterminate” should wear a mask.
Norman has said that he’s been vaccinated; Greene has declined to say whether she has been vaccinated and Massie has publicly stated that he chose not to get vaccinated because he’s tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.
The plaintiffs argue that their protest in May did not constitute “disorderly behavior [because] it did not disrupt the House’s operations or good order, nor is it otherwise unlawful conduct.”
The suit argues that imposing the fine is a violation of the First Amendment and the 27th Amendment, which says no law varying the compensation for House members and senators takes effect “until an election of representatives shall have intervened.”
The Hill has reached out to Pelosi’s office for comment.