A Washington federal judge recently threw out Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green’s (R. GA) lawsuit challenging the fines she and other conservative members of the House faced for refusing to wear masks on the chamber floor, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Greene, along with Reps. Thomas Massie (R. KY) and Ralph Norman (R. SC) filed a court challenge last July hoping to recoup fine money they paid after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D. CA) pushed through enforcement rules for an existing mask mandate in the Capitol building.
U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton ruled last Wednesday that the case had no merit because Pelosi and Capitol staffers who enforced the fines by taking them out of lawmakers pay couldn’t be sued for decisions they made in their official government capacity.
Judge Walton also said that the plaintiffs’ arguments that the mask fines amounted to an illegal reduction in their annual salary was not legitimate.
The judge also disregarded claims made in the suit that the fines violated the lawmakers’ First Amendment protections of free speech since they refused to wear the masks as a form of protest.
Greene recently complained to controversial conservative radio host Alex Jones that she lost her entire congressional salary paying the fines, as each violation of the mask mandate cost her $2,500. While Reps Massie and Norman protested very minimally, Greene continually showed up on the House floor refusing to wear a mask throughout almost of all 2021 and into the new year, seeing her have more than $100,000 of her $174,000 per year salary docked from her pay.
Contrary to Green and company’s arguments that the use of masks did not help stop the spread of COVID-19, Judge Walton argued that “the consensus within the scientific community is clear that masks —and, in particular, well-fitting, protective masks — are effective in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, as demonstrated by the very articles cited by the plaintiffs in their Complaint.”