Mass. Governor to End Pandemic Restrictions Early
Mass. Governor to End Pandemic Restrictions Early

By Matthew Vadum

Facing mounting legal pressure, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced the Bay State will soon stop enforcing pandemic-related restrictions on civic life and businesses, including those that single out religious gatherings—months ahead of Baker’s previously stated reopening deadline of Aug. 1.

Baker’s announcement came days after First Liberty Institute and the Massachusetts Family Institute filed a federal lawsuit challenging the restrictions on behalf of New Life South Coast in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) asked the Supreme Court to review a state court ruling that held the Republican governor’s restrictions didn’t violate its clients’ federal constitutional rights.

The announcement also came as state and local governments across the country are easing restrictions, including mandatory mask-wearing, aimed to combat the CCP virus that causes the disease COVID-19.

“I think the state is beginning to get the message that you can’t treat churches in such a way that it makes easier to meet together as a body at Applebee’s or the AMC theater than at church,” First Liberty attorney Jeremy Dys told The Epoch Times in an interview.

“It is clear that the governor’s restrictive orders violated religious freedom,” Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, said in a statement. “It was patently unfair that people could congregate at a coffee shop but not at a church. This change is great news for people of faith across Massachusetts.”

Baker’s 14-month-old state of emergency and its continuing restrictions will be phased out near month’s end. All remaining restrictions and capacity limits will end May 29 and fully vaccinated individuals will no longer have to wear masks in most settings, Baker said during a May 17 press conference.

All industry restrictions will be removed, and capacity limits will increase to 100 percent for all industries, Baker said, adding the limits on the size of gatherings will also be lifted.

“We said since Day 1 that we will get through this together because the people of Massachusetts are strong, kind, and willing to sacrifice to help their neighbor. Today, we know more than ever that that is the truth,” Baker said.

As of May 18, Massachusetts no longer required masks for outdoor activities, such as recess, for students in kindergarten through 12th grade and for child care settings. The state will also allow objects to be shared in classrooms. As of May 29, restrictions on youth and amateur sports will be rescinded, the governor said, and the declared state of emergency will end June 15.

Baker said the state expects to meet its goal of vaccinating 4.1 million in Massachusetts by the first week of June. “Today, Massachusetts leads the nation in vaccinations, and we are on track to meet the goal that we set for ourselves back in December.”

The NCLA filed a petition for certiorari, or review, on May 12, with the Supreme Court asking the justices to review the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s December 2020 ruling that held the governor’s restrictions didn’t violate the plaintiffs’ federal constitutional rights, as The Epoch Times previously reported.

In the case Desrosiers v. Baker, the petitioners—individuals, business people, small businesses, and churches—argue that the current restrictions on their civil liberties violate their due process rights. Baker’s capacity limitations, curfews, and other restrictions on gatherings in private homes “underscore the need for judicial oversight of executive decrees, even during a pandemic,” the NCLA stated.

The NCLA argued the Massachusetts court erred in finding that relaxed legal standards should be applied to its clients’ First Amendment freedom of assembly claims and that Baker’s restrictions could pass muster under the due process clause so long as they were reasonably related to a valid state interest. Closer judicial scrutiny is called for when “the restrictions on personal liberty are so extreme and have been imposed by order of a single executive-branch official rather than a legislature.”

Affiliate News Feeds

  • Reuters
  • Washington Examiner
  • The Federalist
  • The Epoch Times
  • The Guardian
  • The Gateway Pundit
  • Judicial Watch

By Patricia Tolson A new survey reveals that the majority of Americans do not trust the integrity of America’s elections. According to a poll conducted among likely General Election voters between Nov. 16–20… [...]

By Louise Chambers When her neighbor, a farmer, fell ill suddenly, a Minnesota teen volunteered to help him tend the land. The farmer was beyond grateful for the support, and the teen… [...]

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) announced on Tuesday that he won’t support legislation to prevent an economically calamitous rail strike if it isn’t supported by the union workers. [...]

The Pentagon believes the Chinese military’s nuclear arsenal can more than triple by 2035. [...]

Abusers in homes across the nation and worldwide have utilized chemical abortion pills in the same way that Herring allegedly did. [...]

Even amid the hedonistic holiday mania, people are still eager to have a fulfilling and joyful Christmas. Christians can help. [...]

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner “Ignores reality and claims Philadelphia does not have a crisis of crime,” according to the third and final report of the Pennsylvania House Select Committee… [...]

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) on Tuesday sued the board of elections of a Pennsylvania county that didn’t have enough paper ballots on Election Day for failing to certify his victory by… [...]

Antibody therapy lecanemab removes clumps of protein called beta amyloid that builds up in brainResearchers have hailed the dawn of a new era of Alzheimer’s therapies after a clinical trial… [...]

Groups C and D conclude: check the latest permutationsDaily briefing: the joy of Mbappé, Argentina’s escape planGet in touch: email Martin with your thoughtsThe TV numbers are in. 16.59 million… [...]

As the war against censorship seeps into nearly every facet of our lives, best selling rapper Bryson Gray will soon find out if his stand for free speech and artistic… [...]

While the corporate media such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have been writing puff pieces about mega democrat donor Sam Bankman-Fried, independent journalist Ben Armstrong better… [...]

Though years ago India passed a sweeping law giving transgender people rights—and prohibiting discrimination in education, employment, and healthcare—the Biden administration is spending American taxpayer dollars to counter stigma and… [...]

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for all communications between the Secret… [...]

NH Politician

NH POLITICIAN is owned and operated by USNN World News Corporation, a New Hampshire based media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information, local,...