State Rep. Neville to sue Gov. Polis, CDPHE, others over mask mandate

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DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville said Wednesday that he will file a lawsuit within the next day arguing Colorado’s mask mandate is unconstitutional.

Neville and conservative blogger Michelle Malkin are planning to sue the office of Gov. Jared Polis, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) and other state and local agencies.

Neville is a Republican who represents part of Douglas County. In July, he accused the governor of being on a “power trip” and announced his intent to sue.

Polis first announced the mask mandate on July 16 in response to a rising number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state. He extended the order on Aug. 14.

Neville told FOX31 the governor has overstepped his boundaries. He wants a special session so state representatives and senators can vote on the mask mandate.

“Let’s have a thorough, full debate through all the different people,” Neville said. “Let’s get citizen input. Let’s have that process go through. Right now it’s – Polis says so. King Polis says so.”

The governor issued the following statement regarding the lawsuit:

“We are free to be on the side of a deadly virus that has taken the lives of too many friends, parents, and loved ones, or on the side of Coloradans. I’m on the side of Coloradans.”

Data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment show the number of hospitalizations has dropped from 412 on July 17 to 253 on Aug. 26.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cloth face coverings are not intended to protect the person wearing the mask, but rather those around them.

“Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings. The spread of COVID-19 can be reduced when masks are used along with other preventive measures, including social distancing, frequent handwashing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces,” the CDC says on its website.

Polis’ order requires face coverings to be worn in indoor public places. It applies to people 10 years old and older.

People who cannot medically tolerate a face covering are not required to wear one. 

READ: FAQ about the governor’s new mask order

In late July, two Republican candidates for the state House also announced they were suing over mask mandates.

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