Maryland attorney general defends governor’s COVID-19 orders

BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland’s Democratic attorney general is defending Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive orders to combat the coronavirus pandemic in a federal court filing.

Attorney General Brian Frosh’s office urged a judge in Baltimore to toss out a lawsuit filed last week challenging stay-at-home orders and other restrictions Hogan has imposed.

The memo says federal courts have generally turned aside similar challenges in other states, and that governors enjoy broad authority to act swiftly during a public-health emergency.

A coalition of state legislators, pastors and a group called Reopen Maryland filed the lawsuit, arguing that the governor’s actions unconstitutionally restrict freedom of assembly and religion.

A conference call in the case has been scheduled for Monday afternoon.

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