Castle Rock lawmaker, conservative commentator sue Polis over mask order


Update from Colorado Politics, 8/28: The Supreme Court on Aug. 28 declined to hear a lawsuit challenging the authority of Gov. Jared Polis to require mask use. The case, however, will resume in district court.

Colorado House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock and conservative commentator Michelle Malkin on Wednesday sued. Gov. Jared Polis over the statewide mask order.

> Read the lawsuit here.

The Democratic governor issued his executive order on July 16 to combat the spread of coronavirus, then later extended it. Opponents, mostly Republicans, have seen it as government overreach more than public safety.

While Polis is the defendant, the lawsuit questions the constitutionality of the Colorado's Disaster Emergency Act, when the Colorado Constitution "clearly" separates powers between the legislative and executive branches, the plaintiffs said Wednesday.

The legislative branch is supposed to create laws that the executive branch enforces, they assert, and Polis is crossing that "dividing line."

“Governor Polis’ Executive Orders have been devastating to the people of Colorado,” Neville, a Republican, said in a statement. “People have been ordered to stay at home; their right to travel has been trampled; their right to worship has been taken away; businesses have been shut down; and countless jobs have been lost. The governor has overstepped his constitutional powers. We have checks and balances and Governor Polis needs to follow them.”

(As Colorado Community Media first reported July 17, Neville tweeted at the time that he'd "retained counsel with the intent to sue.")

Malkin is an El Paso County resident. They are represented by conservative radio talk show personality and lawyer Randy Corporon.

The governor's office stood by the decision.

“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," Polis said in a statement. "I’m on the side of Coloradans.”

This story is from Colorado Politics, a statewide political and public policy news journal. Used by permission. For more, visit


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