On July 27th, Reps Thomas Massie, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Ralph Norman filed a lawsuit against Nancy Pelosi.
1. Defendants improperly chose to fine Plaintiffs through an imminent reduction in
their compensation. Plaintiffs, all of whom are members of Congress belonging to the minority
party, engaged in the symbolic speech of not wearing a mask on the Congressional floor in defiance
of the majority party’s compelled symbolic speech rule.
2. The Twenty-Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, proposed by
James Madison with the remainder of the Bill of Rights in 1789, but not ratified until 1992,
provides: “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives,
shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.”
3. The Twenty-Seventh Amendment is, at its heart, an anti-corruption measure,
designed to prevent Congress from increasing, decreasing, or limiting compensation as a cudgel
against political opponents. Despite this clear and unequivocal prohibition, that is precisely what
occurred in this matter. Defendants, in violation of the Twenty-Seventh Amendment, used the
reduction of Plaintiffs’ compensation without an intervening election as a cudgel against Plaintiffs,
who are all political opponents of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
4. The fines at issue are also unconstitutional under Article I, § 5, Clause 2 of the
United States Constitution. That clause grants the House authority only to “punish its members
for disorderly behavior.” Merely entering the House Chamber without a mask, as Plaintiffs did on
May 18 and May 29, 2021, did not constitute “disorderly behavior” because it did not disrupt the
House’s operations or good order, nor is it otherwise unlawful conduct. Furthermore, Article 1,
A federal judge is finally going to hear the oral arguments in the case on Dec 2nd.
A federal judge will hear oral arguments in Massie v Pelosi on Dec. 2nd. @RepMTG & @RepRalphNorman are co-litigants in this landmark case. Among other claims, we contend @SpeakerPelosi violated the Constitution when she reduced our salaries as punishment for us not wearing masks. pic.twitter.com/kfWZoOi7RI
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) November 30, 2021
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