SJC upholds Gov.’s declaration of COVID emergency


The Supreme Judicial Court this morning shared its decision, Desrosiers v. The Governor, quoted from below –

CYPHER, J. On March 10, 2020, Governor Charles D. Baker,
Jr., declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts in response to the pandemic arising from COVID-19,
a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus. See
Governor’s Declaration of Emergency, Executive Order No. 591.
He did so under the Civil Defense Act (CDA), St. 1950, c. 639,
and G. L. c. 17, § 2A. . .

In June 2020, the plaintiffs5 filed a complaint in the
Superior Court, seeking declaratory judgment and injunctive
relief and challenging the Governor’s declaration of a state of
emergency and the emergency orders as unauthorized and
unconstitutional. . .

We conclude that the CDA provides authority for the
Governor’s March 10, 2020, declaration of a state of emergency
in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and for the issuance of the
subsequent emergency orders; the emergency orders do not violate art. 30 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights; and the
emergency orders do not violate the plaintiffs’ Federal or State
constitutional rights to procedural and substantive due process
or free assembly.

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