Judge dismisses Maryland lawsuit challenging COVID-19 rules

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Maryland lawmaker and other plaintiffs which said Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive orders regarding the COVID-19 pandemic were unconstitutional.

U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Blake ruled on Wednesday, writing Del. Dan Cox, R-Frederick, and Carroll, and the plaintiffs’ amended complaint did not outweigh the governor’s duty to protect public health, the Frederick News-Post reported.

According to court records, Cox and other plaintiffs had submitted an amended complaint in May, Hogan’s office responded with a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in June. The lawsuit included several pastors and other plaintiffs and argued that Hogan was violating the individual and constitutional liberties of Maryland residents.

“Based on the allegations in the plaintiffs’ amended complaint, the court cannot conclude that Governor Hogan’s measures are arbitrary or unreasonable, or that they plainly violate any of the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights,” Blake wrote. “The court therefore must be cautious not to ‘usurp the functions of another branch of government’ deciding how best to protect public health.”

Cox has spent much of the past few weeks working with President Donald Trump’s legal team, disputing election results in Pennsylvania, the newspaper reported. He was not immediately available for comment Thursday.

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