Montana Mask Lawsuit Organizers: “This all ends when we say NO”
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Stand Up Montana, the organizers of the lawsuit against former Governor Steve Bullock and the Department of Public Health and Human Services, recently expanded their litigation to include Missoula City-County Board of Health and Health Director Ellen Leahy.
Citing a lack of action on the part of Governor Greg Gianforte to end the mask mandate and the “little” action he has done to end additional restrictions, Jenna Dodge, President of Stand Up Montana, announced the citizen-powered non-profit would be challenging the Office of the Governor in an update to their first suit,
Well January has flown by and now we are already 3 days into February! In January, we saw Gianforte take the office of the Governor of the State of Montana. So far, he has done nothing to change the mask mandate and little to reduce COVID restrictions around the state.
The lawsuit that we, Stand Up Montana et al, filed in December was filed against the Office of the Governor and the MT DPHHS. Thus, the suit is now against Gianforte, in Bullock’s place.Jenna Dodge. President. Stand Up Montana.
The lawsuits allege that the response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus by the Governor and state and local health authorities violated the constitution. In addition, the lawsuits include testimony that calls into question the efficacy of masking and lockdowns and points to negligence on the part of health authorities when it comes to other health outcomes.
As Montanans wait for action from legislators to reign in authority of the Governor to declare indefinite states of emergency (HB122) and local health board authorities ability to write and create orders with little accountability (HB121), justice is slow going with Montana’s judiciary, as well. Despite the first lawsuit being filed in December, Dodge noted that the court date is still pending, “The courts are being less-than-responsive during this time, and we trust our counsel’s office is doing everything in their power to move this case forward in due course.”
In the face of stalling from state officials, Stand Up Montana is continuing with additional lawsuits. “Our next step is to continue filing suits in various counties around the state, particularly those who have made it clear that if and when the state mask mandate is gone, the local health boards intend to keep a local mandate in place,” Dodge said.
Dodge stressed the importance of stepping up and getting information out about ending the mask mandates to friends and neighbors,
“While we wait for the action to pick up in the courts, I encourage you all to take part in the most important activism that you can, which is talking to your neighbors, families, and friends about why we need to end the mask mandate, now. And, remember, this all ends when we say NO.”