If we allow the government
to break laws during an emergency,
they will create emergencies to break the law
The divide between humans on the mask / no-mask debate keeps people distracted and tensions high. However, the argument about the ineffectiveness of masks is not the issue at hand. The issue at hand is this: Does this violate our Constitutional Rights? Research Title 42 Section 1983.
Judges in PA, MI, IL, FL, TX, have ruled in one way or another that the Covid-19 Executive Orders are unlawful delegation of legislative power to the executive branch. After 15 "renewals of Emergency Power" without legislative and public hearings, it is time to put this legal dilemma before the court.
1. $50,000? Seems like a lot. Why so much?
It takes a lot of time, hundreds of hours, to put together an amazing class action lawsuit in Federal court that questions the authority of government. This is a Constitutional issue that could go to trial, and could even go to the Supreme Court. Bruce Afran has decades of expertise behind him and you get what you pay for. He will be preparing a complaint, a brief (20+ pages of outlining our case, backing it up with research & case law, and quite possibly a trial. Legal fees to file plus any court transcripts from this process is thousands of dollars. An expert witness such as a child psychologist costs thousands. $50,000 is actually a deal considering there are thousands of parents who can contribute to make this happen. Doing this alone would costs you tens of thousands. We are asking for $250 or whatever amount you can do.
2. What exactly is he filing?
This filing addresses many parts of the Executive Orders: He is moving for Injunctive Relief in the Federal Court to stop these masks practices in schools. The state will have to show a compelling reason why masks must be mandated especially for children. The argument is that this violates our Constitutional Right to freedom of speech, communication, right to associate, right to an education where children can see faces and communicate without their faces being covered. This is impeding their right to an education, to communicate, and to associate.
He is also including the vaccine issue that is threatening to be a mandate soon, and colleges are already requiring it, which is against the law. He would argue that this is a violation of Constitutional rights, being that Covid affects kids the least and it is still an experimental vaccine that has not been tested thoroughly, and an intrusion on your bodily rights.
Other parts covered in this lawsuit are the violation of Constitutional Rights with:
The arbitrary & capricious restaurant restrictions and his lack of legal authority to control the economy and public gatherings.
Public shopping areas that force masks (No Mask, No Service) and discriminate against people with health conditions including PTSD, and their right to communicate and associate.
In order to address each part, one has to show "Standing", which means a plaintiff with a personal experience that has been harmed by these orders. By including as many as we can, we are asking the court to declare these orders unconstitutional so that this never happens again.
3. There is a bill about to be passed that would make these orders a temporary law -- what happens to our lawsuit then?
This only shifts our argument from the executive orders to the legislation, and poses the same argument: this legislation is unconstitutional. The issue of whether the Governor has the legal power to mandate executive orders would still be an argument built into this shift if this is passed into law.
4. What is the timeline here? Doesn't it take a year to hear motions filed in court?
Bruce Afran is filing an Injunction for the masks in schools, which tells the court this filing is of an emergent nature because harm is being done right now to children. This gives the state 14 days to respond. Most likely they will file a motion to dismiss; this is okay and normal procedure when the state is sued. But because our lawsuit is an Injunction with an Order to Show Cause, the state must show a compelling reason backed by evidence, data, & cumulative studies that kids are the only ones left that must wear a mask, that outweighs the harm being done and the Constitutional rights being violated. We strongly maintain they will not be able to show this. As Bruce Afran says, "This is standard Constitutional practice here." Our case will be heard in court. Once the dismissal is filed and rejected, the 30 day clock starts ticking for the hearing date, taking us into July/August. In short, our case will be heard and settled before September.
5. What can I do to help?
You can share to everyone you talk to and explain that any amount will help for our Go Fund Me Legal Fund. Parents have put FreeNJKids.com in window marker on their car window so even people we don't talk to can check out the website. Ask your favorite restaurant to kick in something since the restaurant restrictions are part of the lawsuit as well. Personally, I have asked my family and friends out of state to contribute $25 to help us here in NJ.
6. What if all the restrictions are lifted, and the Governor changes his mind and removes mask mandates in schools? Will we still have a case? YES. Remember, if he can lift them, he can impose them again. This health emergency was originally for two weeks, then a month, and before you knew it, more than a year has passed. Just as restrictions were being lifted last summer - the "second wave" came in the Fall, and even harsher restrictions were then imposed. Summer is here and we see the same pattern. Come Fall, we must think ahead and be aware that the governor could declare a "third wave" with intrusive restrictions again. Our case declares that the Governor has no such power to do this. Not only is it unconstitutional, it is being done without due process, public hearings, and debates on the legislative floor.