Del. Dan Cox is continuing his efforts to have Gov. Larry Hogan’s emergency orders to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the state declared unconstitutional, asking the federal court of appeals to overturn his loss in district court.

Whether his quest is quixotic or principled is probably in the eye and the politics of the beholder. But one argument Cox cited in his pleading just leapt out at us.

In asking the appeals court for an injunction that would immediately end Hogan’s emergency orders while the appeal is heard, Cox’s legal team wrote:

“The State will incur no real harm to any legitimate government interest, because the Appellants’ gatherings, speech, businesses and activities will be conducted with reasonable care to ensure health and safety.”

That is just fantasy, pure and simple.

The governor has a legitimate interest in protecting the health of the citizens of the state, even those who do not want their health to be protected. We have praised him repeatedly for acting swiftly and surely in the crisis.

Yes, his actions have been drastic and in some cases unprecedented. But we are in crisis that is without any precedent in modern history. Closing schools, businesses and even churches was necessary to decrease the spread of the highly contagious and life-threatening virus.

Cox is essentially arguing that everyone would voluntarily adopt and follow the health and safety advice of virus scientists. All one need do is look around the state and the country to see that is not true.

From the mass gathering at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri on Memorial Day weekend to New York City where huge crowds milled about in the streets around newly reopened bars and restaurants, we can see that people hate to give up close contact. And they don’t all want to wear a mask either, even at the risk of spreading a deadly disease.

In such dire times, we expect the government to act, and Hogan did.

Cox’s co-plaintiffs include multiple state religious leaders, fellow delegates Neil Parrott (R-Washington) and Warren Miller (R-Carroll and Howard), and businesses such as Adventure Park USA near New Market and Antietam Battlefield campground. They are suing Hogan, Attorney General Brian Frosh and others. The injunction request was filed last week in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. It seeks to temporarily end Hogan’s executive orders until there is a ruling on the appeal.

In both his original lawsuit and in this appeal, Cox has argued that Hogan’s executive orders exceed his authority under the state and federal constitutions. We do not pretend to be experts on constitutional law, but U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Blake in rejecting Cox’s assertions, said it well:

“Public officials cannot responsibly exercise their broad authority to protect the health of the entire community without considering the data, the science, and the advice of experienced public health professionals. Governor Hogan, exercising the powers given to him by the legislature in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, has made reasonable choices informed, if not dictated by, such data, science, and advice.”

Common sense and widely available evidence tells us that the governor had to act as he did precisely because churches, restaurants, theaters and sports teams would not have acted voluntarily “with reasonable care to ensure health and safety,” as Cox now wants to have it.

It took a strong governor to make it happen. Luckily for Maryland, we had one on the job at the right time.

(9) comments

Tigerzord

Dan Cox costs money

Dan Cox costs lives

Dan Cox looses votes

Greg F

The video here shows just the sort of nutjobs are out there not wearing masks...especially the first one spouting nonsense about the "devil's law' and another bashing credits of someone and something it seems she clearly doesn't know herself. This is how unreasonable people can be over doing what's right to help others vs what that moron in office claiming to be president is telling people to do both by example and action. This is what happens when we have an administration that is so devaluing the education of constituents that they really have no clue at all about how even some basic things work. This is one of those things that really doesn't care what religion or political values you have, or even if they are real or not, or doesn't care about your opinion. It's out there and can kill you and others, and if you are a valid part of a society rather than a virus yourself upon it, you would do the right thing in wearing SOMETHING over your stupid, opinionated mouth and nose to help others not die or get sick from it. https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/06/24/mask-mandate-florida-anger-erupts-coronavirus-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/

Dwasserba

"Cox is essentially arguing that everyone would voluntarily adopt and follow the health and safety advice of virus scientists. All one need do is look around the state and the country to see that is not true." Reunions are everywhere.

Greg F

Well, you can look at the images in the article right here on FNP that you see a number of people that can't follow recommendations not just in the main image, but others too. Great...you're there to speak about protecting and helping others, but then can't follow the directions to protect someone. Hmmm.... https://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/arts_and_entertainment/a-lot-of-things-are-stewing-local-black-musicians-talk-about-performing-inspiring-change/article_81e8d8b8-e2f5-5229-8607-949ff5556ccd.html

DickD

What is most fascinating to me is both Cox and Hogan are Republicans. Hogan is very well respected, Cox has aligned himself with the far right. If Cox wanted to be reelected he should have realized Maryland is not a far right state. Nor is what Cox doing likely to endear him to any except the far right. In Maryland the far right does not rule.

KellyAlzan

Cox has sealed his fate. And so has Neil Parrott by aligning himself

With trump.

Greg F

I certainly hope so.

hayduke2

Wish that were true but I suspect many of his supporters see themselves in his faux patriot, me against the machine views. I also suspect that the inherent need in some to always play the victim and call out anything that somehow affects their world view as intolerable.

DickD

Parrot is probably safe, Washington County voted 80% for Trump.

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