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Supreme Court upholds fines against GOP lawmakers for mask violations on house floor

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The Supreme Court has dismissed appeals filed by three Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives regarding fines imposed for their failure to adhere to mask-wearing protocols on the House floor in 2021.

The fines, amounting to $500 each, were levied against Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and Ralph Norman of South Carolina in May 2021. The Supreme Court justices, without providing comment, upheld the lower court rulings affirming the fines.

These penalties were enforced as part of the House’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the mask mandate remaining in effect even after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance indicating that fully vaccinated individuals could resume activities without masks or physical distancing.

Despite this guidance, the aforementioned lawmakers appeared on the House floor without masks, with one even taking a selfie in defiance of the requirement. The mandate was eventually lifted in June 2021.

Lower courts had previously declined to intervene in the matter, asserting that they lacked jurisdiction to review the House’s mask policy.

Legal representatives for House Speaker Mike Johnson, also a Republican, advocated for the rejection of the appeal by the fellow Republican representatives. However, it is worth noting that Johnson, along with other members of the Republican leadership, had opposed the mask policy when it was put to a vote.

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