Statement on SJC Justice Lenk Granting Joint Petition to go Before SJC on Executive Orders Lawsuit

The Fiscal Alliance Foundation made the following statement regarding today’s determination by Justice Lenk of the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) Single Justice Session allowing the lawsuit Dawn Desrosiers, et al. v. Governor Charles D. Baker to proceed to the SJC in September.

The New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil rights group, has jointly filed a petition with Governor Charlie Baker and the Attorney General’s Office seeking to transfer the case. NCLA is challenging the Governor’s authority to use executive orders. The SJC will decide whether Governor Baker’s March 10, 2020 Civil Defense State of Emergency declaration and the subsequent emergency executive orders are lawful exercises of gubernatorial authority. A hearing before the full SJC is expected in September.

While not a plaintiff, the Fiscal Alliance Foundation has taken an active role in the public discourse regarding the lawsuit and its merits, with special focus on the many small business plaintiffs that have been devastated by Governor's executive orders. The Fiscal Alliance Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to promote individual liberty and a more fiscally responsible, transparent government for a better New England through education and legal assistance. Michael P. DeGrandis is a Pittsfield native and Senior Litigation Counsel at NCLA. Michael is the lead counsel in the lawsuit and is joined by Danielle Huntley Webb of Huntley PC, who is acting as the local counsel. Danielle is also the Chairman of the board for the Foundation.

“It looks like the plaintiffs and all those who care about keeping state government accountable will have their day in court—the state’s highest court. This case is not an attack on the Governor and makes no judgement as to whether his policies are good or bad. What this case hopes to clarify is whether the Governor has the legal authority to impose so many far reaching executive orders or should he abide by the provisions set forth by the legislature in state’s Public Health Act,” stated Paul Diego Craney, a spokesman for the Fiscal Alliance Foundation.

A copy of the original joint petition may be found by clicking here.

A copy of Judge Lenk's order may be found here.