Vermonters sue Scott administration claiming overreach during pandemic

Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 6:24 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Some Vermonters are suing the government saying the state went too far during the pandemic.

A lawsuit was filed by eight Vermonters who claim government overreach.

In March 2020, Gov. Phil Scott declared a state of emergency and instituted the Stay Home, Stay Safe order.

In August, he put a mask mandate in place.

Opponents say it’s not the business of the government to decide these matters.

Monday’s motion hearing will decide whether the case goes forward in the federal court.

“I’m originally from Germany and I see the parallels to a time in Germany that my mom lived through very clearly,” said Claudia Stauber of Morrisville. “And with COVID passes, where are we going? Where are we going with that?”

“I have the medical proof, if you will, from my own doctors that say wearing a mask on the outside in the open is ridiculous and yet, that’s part of the culture that has occurred in Vermont over the last year,” said Jim Hogue, who helped bring the lawsuit.

Right now, the state rule for masking outside is to wear one if you are within six feet of someone who doesn’t live with you. Otherwise, you don’t need to wear one outside.

In response to the lawsuit, the governor’s press secretary issued a statement that said: “The Governor is confident that his executive order and subsequent addenda are lawful and necessary in order to maintain public health and safety. Like every challenge to the executive order so far, we are confident it will be upheld in court.

Vermont continues to lead the nation in nearly all aspects of our pandemic response – including vaccinations. Therefore, it won’t be long before many mandates are lifted, as we begin to put this pandemic behind us and get back to normal.”

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