Three Republican lawmakers facing fines for not wearing masks on the House floor are suing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Ralph Norman of South Carolina have been fined $500 apiece under a rule imposed by Pelosi.
The rule slaps a $500 fine on legislators who go maskless once, with a $2,500 fine for a second offense.
Massie said the issue is bigger than a $500 fine.
Queen of hypocrisy Pelosi reinstates House mask rule, while not wearing a mask. I sued her in federal court yesterday for this nonsense. pic.twitter.com/vqk8iqvUsz
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) July 28, 2021
“We are fighting this fight because if they can get away with this in Congress, they’ll do the same things to our kids when they go back to school, they’ll do the same things to hard working Americans in their workplaces, and they’ll do the same things to our soldiers,” Massie said in a statement, according to the Washington Examiner.
“We are standing up to Pelosi for the American people who are tired of mask mandates, vaccine coercion, and violations of basic constitutional rights,” he said.
Massie said Pelosi’s rule violates the Constitution.
“Nancy Pelosi did this by edict. There’s no law. She changed this rule on her own. She did it unconstitutionally,” Massie said, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
“In this case, Nancy Pelosi’s fine against us for not wearing a mask violates the 27th Amendment,” Massie said. The 27th Amendment prohibits changing the compensation for members of Congress during a session.
Massie noted that photos show Pelosi going without a mask in the House chamber on the same day as those who were fined for doing so.
“This is on the same day in the same chamber,” Massie said, according to Courthouse News Service. “She deducted money from our paychecks. Why? Because we did exactly what she did. Went in there without a mask on.”
The Republican lawmaker said the court case is symbolic.
“We are here today not because of $500 in fines but because the American people need somebody to fight, and they’re tired of people who won’t fight,” he said. “And we are going to fight, and we have filed this case this morning.”
Greene said the lawsuit is intended to push back against discrimination.
“People all over this country are being segregated and discriminated against with masks and vaccines, and it’s very important for us as members of Congress to stand up against this abuse so that people back home can do the same thing,” Greene said, according to WTVC-TV.
“It is beyond me why we are mistreating people, segregating people, discriminating against people for masks and vaccines, which should be a choice,” she said.
According to the Washington Examiner, the lawsuit accuses Pelosi of improperly fining the Republicans “through an imminent reduction in their compensation.” It says the lawmakers “engaged in the symbolic speech of not wearing a mask on the Congressional floor in defiance.”
The suit also alleges the mask rule “serves as an example of unconstitutional compelled speech” that violates their First Amendment rights.
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