Statement on NCLA and Gov. Baker Urging Mass. Supreme Judicial Court to Hear Civil Defense Act Case

The Fiscal Alliance Foundation made the following statement regarding today’s development in which the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil rights group, has filed a petition with Governor Charlie Baker and the Attorney General’s Office to transfer the case of Dawn Desrosiers, et al. v. Governor Charles D. Baker from Worcester Superior Court to the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), Single Justice Session.

The motion requests that the SJC 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.

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

“Today’s development brings us one step closer to providing relief to the ten plaintiffs and ensure these unlawful executive orders never happen again. We look forward to hearing what is long overdue. The Governor should not be allowed to invoke Cold War era laws to rule by decree just because he feels like it. The state Public Health Act was specifically designed to deal with a pandemic situation like the one we currently face. His refusal to abide by it has directly lead to the infringement of the constitutional rights of millions of business owners, workers, and individuals,” stated Paul Diego Craney, a spokesman for the Fiscal Alliance Foundation.

“The announcement today demonstrates that the facts are not in dispute. This case will not be a debate on the underlying policies of the orders, but rather does the Governor have the authority to circumvent the legislative process and existing state law,” concluded Craney.

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