Sen. Kelly: Moukawsher Decision on Lamont Emergency Powers Echoes Republican Calls for Balanced Government

March 9, 2021

Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) released the following statement in response to a decision issued today by State Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher regarding Governor Ned Lamont’s pandemic-related emergency powers:


“Judge Moukawsher’s argument echoes everything Connecticut Republican lawmakers have been saying for months. But when we made those same arguments calling for checks and balances we were called dangerous and falsely accused of not wanting to keep people safe. Do Democrats think Judge Moukawsher is dangerous too?  Of course not. They unanimously ratified his reappointment just a week ago. When it comes to Democrats’ comments on the Governor’s emergency powers they need to be viewed through the partisan prism in which they are made. Just because they call us reckless and dangerous clearly doesn’t mean that we are.


“While much of the state’s public health response was rational and took necessary action, these are decisions that should have never been made by only one branch of government without any input from lawmakers. Our government was not designed to be controlled by one person. We are a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Yet over the last year Connecticut Democrats were perfectly fine ceding unprecedented authority to one person again and again, setting a dangerous precedent. Democrats repeatedly ignored Republican calls to put the legislature to work, respond to the pandemic and help the Governor make decisions that took into account the voices of the people we represent. While emergency powers did well for a time, CT Democrats were quick to extend them for too long and far too broadly. They rejected our proposal to give lawmakers the ability to appeal or reject any executive order within 72 hours of its issuance. Instead, Democrats were happy to sit back and ‘sink into indefinite desuetude’ – to use the words of Judge Moukawsher. They gave sole power to Governor Lamont to make life changing policy decisions that impacted every Connecticut resident. In doing so they silenced the voices of thousands who elected them.


“Judge Moukawsher’s words should not be taken lightly. As he writes, ‘Rational ends may not be achieved by legally impermissible means. Silence from the General Assembly is not enough. Our State Constitution is not merely a list of limitations. It is a call to action.’ Republicans called for that action repeatedly, only to be dismissed by Democrats again and again.”