Bastiat Caucus lawmaker threatens legal action over mask requirement at upcoming special session


MINOT, N.D. — The Legislature may not be session, but the work of lawmakers continues in the interim. Part of that work means attending interim committee meetings.

Sen. Judy Lee, a Republican from Fargo, chairs the interim Human Services Committee, and ahead of an Oct. 21 meeting of her committee sent out some guidelines requesting that committee members who are not vaccinated wear a mask when attending.

If they don’t wish to wear a mask, Lee asked that they make arrangements to attend the committee remotely.

Sen. Jason Heitkamp, a member of the Trump-aligned Bastiat Caucus of unserious cranks, rebuked Lee for the guidelines, and went so far as to threaten legal action over the matter in an email addressed to Lee, Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, Legislative Management Chairman Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, the director of Legislative Council John BjornsonGov. Doug Burgum’s office, as well as an email list for all state lawmakers.

“My medical history is protected under HIPAA Law. My medical conditions are a private matter by law. Unless I am under court ordered quarantine or isolation, (pursuant to the civil rights act of 1964), you have to prove that I am a harm or a threat to others in this committee,” Heitkamp wrote in his Oct. 4 email which I obtained from a legislative source.

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