A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by Del. Dan Cox and other plaintiffs alleging Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive orders related to the coronavirus pandemic were unconstitutional.

Judge Catherine Blake of the U.S. District Court of Maryland issued the ruling, stating Cox (R-Frederick and Carroll) and the plaintiffs’ amended complaint did not outweigh the governor’s duty to protect public health.

“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 and other plaintiffs had submitted an amended complaint in May, according to court records. Hogan’s office responded with a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in June.

The lawsuit included several pastors and other plaintiffs. It argued that Hogan (R) was violating the individual and constitutional liberties of Marylanders.

“The object has never been to permit a Governor to make a ‘neighbor’s’ rights or interests in health superior to the People’s or even to another citizen’s natural and inalienable rights,” Cox and plaintiffs wrote. “The problem in Maryland is that Governor Hogan has done the reverse, even after being repeatedly petitioned to limit his power.”

But Blake said the amended lawsuit does not show that restrictions, like limits on indoor gatherings or capacity limits on businesses, violate the Constitution.

“The plaintiffs allege in their amended complaint and in their opposition that less restrictive measures are available to Governor Hogan and that it is unequal treatment to designate some businesses—but not theirs—as essential,” she wrote. “But alleging that an order goes too far in protecting public health is not the same as pleading that an order has no real and substantial relation to protecting public health.”

Cox has spent much of the past few weeks working with President Donald Trump’s legal team, disputing election results in Pennsylvania.

He could not be immediately reached for comment by phone Wednesday.

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter: @Steve_Bohnel.

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at sbohnel@newspost.com. He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

(52) comments

HappySeller2014

Why does COX keping dying on this hill over and over again like Groundhog Day? This hill is in the wrong battle in the wrong war on the wrong continent.

You would think for himself, his family, his career and his wallet, he would try taking another hill. Or go around it. Or leave it, like most of his co-counsels have.

This hill to him is like herpes...the gift that keeps on GIVING I guess, but wow, he is not TAKING this hill. It is just not gonna happen. And his constituents are paying the price.

HappySeller2014

Whoops! Darn autocorrect placed the word "herpes" for the first time I have ever seen on a FNP comment board!

However, does kinda seem appropriate, as this is the first time in my 50+ years I have also even seen such a ridiculous circus of a lawsuit being argued ad naseum like this.

KellyAlzan

Not one single comment in support of cox. Pretty sure we can tell how his next election will work out for him....

public-redux

Given his district and support from Hough, I imagine he will win unless a dead girl or a live boy turns up.

HappySeller2014

Ouch. I read between the lines on that one, public-redux. Sly, right on the edge, and edgy. I am just gonna assume you talking about stick figure family decals on auto windshields.

public-redux

Assuming is one of your strengths, apparently.

threecents

This is a lawyer who did his thesis on pandemics and worked to contribute to the pandemic by fighting against mask requirements. We pay his salary to tie up the courts, escalate the pandemic, and help him get a job on the pro-Trump TV network. Did I leave anything out?

richardlyons

Like POTUS; delusional.

stjohn42

Disappointed by not surprised that self-appointed "constitutional attorney" Dan was a) unable to handle a lawsuit to allegedly protect his constituents and b) felt that said lawsuit was less important than rushing to help the Trump campaign in what was a clearly dubious effort in an entirely separate state. I suppose it is nice to know where his real priorities are.

Hayduke2

Cox is an embarassment, pure and simple.

MD1756

The article's headline only needed the first three words.

joelp77440

He will file again. He is "woke," at least the right wing version of this condition. The harder you challenge a delusion, the harder they push back. My grandmother was a flat earther and believed the moon landing and space travel are fake. This was even more surprising since she lived near Cocoa Beach, FL. We would be out the back of her house, near the grapefruit tree and coconut trees watch the rockets/shuttle fly. She would call them lie rockets and that these companies were lining their pockets with tax payer money to build these fake rockets that costs a fraction of what the tax per is being charged.

DickD

Another far right wing nut, Cox. Thank God we got rid of Trump. If voters open their eyes, Cox should be the next to go.

BornToHula2

[thumbup]

NewMarketParent

Anyone tired of winning yet?

Seriously, what a waste or resources and what a stupid hill to die on.

PurplePickles aka L&M

@NMP

If this is "winning" I'd rather be losing. I was thinking that there are actually folks out there, ones we probably don't associate with, (because we live in the real world), that think this Cox dude is winning. Remember in their alternative world losing is winning and Covid is a hoax. Cox is yet another example of why the virus is now raging out of control because of his stunningly stupid stunts, (makes me wonder what other stupid stunts he does?). I guess it surprises no one he's a Republican right and yes it's a stupid hill to die on but when you are this stunningly stupid why not die on hill stupid? Hill stupid seems pretty high to me, I wonder what the view looks like from hill stupid, it's a shame we will never see the view.

NewMarketParent

@PurplePickles

I think we might get to watch in real-time what failing upwards looks like.

dtwigg

Winning? All along I thought it was whining that they were talking about!

Dwasserba

"... lawsuit included several pastors and other plaintiffs..." who don't have names. All the glory to one guy lol

matts853

Me thinks the Pastors are more concerned about enriching themselves from flock’s offerings, rather than enriching the flock with spirituality.

MD1756

Maybe the pastors are just interested in helping their flock get to their "ultimate rewards" faster.

public-redux

It is telling that they fight tooth and nail to delay their arrival in paradise.

NewMarketParent

@matts853

Gotta keep that grift going as long as you can...amirite?

matts853

So to Cox, “neighbors” aren’t the same as “citizens”? This guy is looney tunes. Same with Pippy and Hough. Where have all the sensible Republicans gone? People like Mit Romney, John Kasick, Mike DeWine or Larry Hogan? Good people like them are now outliers in the age of Trump. Mostly today’s R party is a bunch of obsequious Trumpists who are only interested in romanticizing the constitution to fit their myopic view of the world, even as their president defies it whenever it suits him. They are stuck in the 18th century.

HappySeller2014

Surreal to see Cox spending weeks and weeks in PA on a completely ludicrous and circus-like endeavor. His poor family.

And he is supposed to be representing us in our MD state legialature?

ANY FREDERICK COUNTY, MD voter, regardless of political leanings or stance, who in any way still supports COX or condones his activities, is figuratively spitting in the faces of his/her neighbors, friends, family members, fellow churchgoers, and hard working taxpayers of FREDERICK COUNTY, MD. The OPACITY of those who could still support COX after observing his actions and statements over the past 24 months is like a cancer.

gabrielshorn2013

Happy, as you know, Maryland Legislators are only part-time, and Sine Die was March 18, 2020. The legislative session does not begin again until January 13, 2021. Cox has a full-time job elsewhere, and he is free to pursue his career. Not a big fan either.

HappySeller2014

I understand gabriel. So, what has he done to improve your lot in life over the past 24 months? He does legislate part time, but can any COX supporters on this comment board tell me how he, in any way, has improved your lot in life over the past few years?

gabrielshorn2013

Not in any way as far as I can tell Happy. Anybody else know?

gary4books

I wonder how much money Mr. Cox is making in Pennsylvania? They say Rudy is billing $20,000 a day. That would explain a lot.

Riptide262

If that is true, maybe Rudy is crazy like a fox.

public-redux

He is billing but I’ve read that the Trump campaign isn’t paying yet.

bnick467

As my delegate to the Maryland legislature, I want to know why Mr. Cox is working on a federal case in Pennsylvania. He was elected to represent US, not the President.

DickD

If he was using his elected position, you are right. If he was acting as a attorney for Trump, he would have that right.

BornToHula2

As my delegate, he is an embarrassment.Two more years of this guy.....

rlmmkm

What job is this twit auditioning for? Who is this audition supposed to be impressing?

Greg F

Surely he wants to be a co-anchor of some future trump radio or reality clown show.

public-redux

Worked for Bongino.

Watergirl

Cox is truly ignorant of what “public health” is about. Maybe he’s the “new” Kirby Delauter? You remember him, right?

FrederickFan

Cox is incompetent. I can't believe he can make a living as an attorney!

Greg F

We can always hope for disbarment. Even if it takes you 100 times to pass a bar exam, that is enough. There are plenty of sleazeball lawyers out there.

NewMarketParent

@FrederickFan

I thought you can be disbarred for unethical behavior.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disbarment#:~:text=Disbarment%20is%20the%20removal%20of,imposed%20for%20incompetence%20or%20incapacity.

KellyAlzan

even i knew his complaint was dead in the water. cox should be embarassed that a FNP commenter knows more about law and process than he.

KellyAlzan

let that sink in

RTCarpenter

Judge Catherine Blake of the U.S. District Court of Maryland issued the ruling, stating Cox (R-Frederick and Carroll) and the plaintiffs' amended complaint did not outweigh the governor's duty to protect public health.

Piedmontgardener

At least the Delegate has shown the community that if you need a good lawyer, you shouldn't be calling him.

Watergirl

👍

DickD

[thumbup]

BornToHula2

[thumbup]

public-redux

I wish Mr. Cox as much success with his legal efforts in PA as he has enjoyed in MD. The Trump campaign sure knows how to find the best people.

gary4books

Public = Studies show that most people hire others like themselves.

Greg F

And therein is why we have multiple convictions from the Trump arena of associates and cabinet.

public-redux

Oh, yeah.....

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