Rep. Norman, After Suing Over House Mask Mandate, Has COVID

Rep. Ralph Norman, one of the three Republicans who have sued House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House officials over a reinstated order to wear masks in the chamber, has tested positive for COVID-19. 

“After experiencing minor symptoms this morning, I sought a COVID-19 test and was just informed the results were positive,” the South Carolina Republican tweeted Thursday. “Thankfully, I have been fully vaccinated and my symptoms remain mild. To every extent possible, I will continue my work virtually while in quarantine for the next ten (10) days.”

Norman and Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Thomas Massie of Kentucky filed their lawsuit last week, reports Business Insider.

In it, the three argue that the $500 fines Pelosi ordered for lawmakers who refuse to wear masks are unconstitutional because of a clause that only allows lawmakers to face punishment for “disorderly behavior.”

They insist in their lawsuit that Pelosi’s masking requirement is an attempt “to prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, medicine, and science, despite a deep divide over these issues of opinion.”

They also argue that the order “has been used to force Plaintiffs and other members of the minority party to be instruments for fostering public adherence to this ideological point of view that plaintiffs find unacceptable.”

Norman was also one of the GOP lawmakers who has lost his appeal over a $500 fine he got in May for refusing to wear a mask on the House floor.

House members were angry after the House attending physician, Dr. Brian Monahan, announced in late July that the mask mandates were returning to the House but would not be enforced in the Senate. 

Norman is the third lawmaker to test positive for COVID-19 in less than four weeks, and the second from South Carolina, reports CNN. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., announced on Monday that he had tested positive, and on July 19, Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., reported he had gotten COVID. 

All three said they were fully vaccinated and had experienced only mild symptoms. Their cases come after several months with no lawmakers testing positive for COVID-19. 

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