CT supreme court upholds Gov. Lamont’s pandemic emergency executive powers

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld Governor Ned Lamont’s COVID-19 pandemic executive powers, the court announced Monday afternoon.

RELATED: Capitol Report: Judge calls out Gov. Lamont on executive powers

In the ruling, the court said in part:

The question of when various restrictions imposed as a result of the pandemic should be lifted is a fact-intensive inquiry that involves an understanding of ever-evolving scientific guidance, including the effects and impacts of newly discovered strains of the virus and their resistance to recently approved vaccines.

It is likely that reasonable minds may differ as to when each restriction should be lifted, but, as Chief Justice Roberts explained, ‘‘[w]hen [elected] officials undertake . . . to act in areas fraught with medical and scientific uncertainties, their latitude must be especially broad.’’ (Internal quotation marks omitted.) South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, supra, 140 S. Ct. 1613 (Roberts, C. J., concurring in denial of application for injunctive relief).

As long as Governor Lamont is acting within this admittedly broad statutory and constitutional authority— which we conclude that he is—it is not the job of this court to second-guess those policy decisions. The judgment is affirmed.”

This comes the same day the state Senate voted along party lines to extend the governor’s emergency pandemic powers. They will remain in place for at least the next month.

Attorney General William Tong released a statement following the decision “affirming the Governor’s authority during public health and civil preparedness emergencies to take affirmative steps to protect public health and save lives.”

He said, “The governor has broad authority during public health and civil preparedness emergencies to take steps to protect public health and save lives. The Supreme Court decision is thorough, well-reasoned, and leaves no doubt that the governor’s actions during this pandemic have been fully lawful and justified. This pandemic has lasted longer than any of us initially imagined, and the sacrifice and pain have been immense. But we cannot let our guard down now. Get your vaccine as soon as you can, wear your mask, continue to social distance, and stay safe. We will get through this together.”

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