Lawmakers fined for violating Pelosi's COVID mask mandate take matter to the Supreme Court

 December 3, 2023

Three of the Republican congress members who were fined for violating then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) coronavirus facemask mandate are now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike the fines down as unconstitutional. 

The lawmakers, according to the New York Post, petitioned the justices of the high court to hear their case towards the end of last month.

They are alleging that the mask mandate and the corresponding fines are a violation of the 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Read on to see their argument.


This situation, according to The Hill, dates back to the summer of 2020, when, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, then-House Speaker Pelosi and her fellow Democrats imposed a facemask mandate on their fellow House members.

The mandate required the lower chamber's members to cover their faces with masks while on the House floor - unless they were speaking in a floor debate, in which case the masks could be removed.

Pelosi subsequently imposed a $500 fine on first-time violators of the mandate and a $2,500 fine on repeat offenders.

U.S. Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Ralph Norman (R-SC) were all part of a group of House Republicans who refused to comply with Pelosi's mandate.

Accordingly, in 2021, they were each hit with a $500 fine.

The legal battle

In response, Massie, Greene, and Norman took the situation to the courts. Thus far, they have lost at the district and appellate court levels.

"The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals," according to the Daily Caller, "held in June that the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause makes Pelosi and other named defendants, former House Sergeant at Arms William Walker and House Chief Administrative Officer Catherine Szpindor, immune from the lawsuit."

Now, Massie, Greene, and Norman are asking the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court to get involved. They are arguing that Pelosi's mandate and the corresponding fines violate the 27th Amendment.

The three lawmakers argue:

To let the D.C. Circuit’s opinion stand would be to render the Twenty-Seventh Amendment non-justiciable in violation of this Court and the D.C. Circuit’s own precedents and to open the floodgates to unfathomable discipline. The House Rules, under this Doctrine, could impose physical punishment, flogging, or even more medieval forms of punishment, upon members and, under the D.C. Circuit’s precedent, no judicial remedy would be available, the Eighth Amendment notwithstanding

It remains unclear, at the time of this writing, whether the Supreme Court justices will hear the case.

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