Judge orders federal unemployment benefits to continue in Maryland

Posted at 12:49 PM, Jul 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-03 17:13:58-04

BALTIMORE, md. — Governor Larry Hogan and Secretary of Labor Tiffany Robinson have been ordered to rescind their notice to the United States Department of Labor to terminate federal unemployment benefits no later than 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, July 3.

Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill announced his decision on Saturday morning.

Judge Fletcher-Hill granted the order because the plaintiffs proved that they will suffer immediate, substantial, and irreparable harm before a full adversary hearing can be held.

Unless it is extended, the temporary restraining order will expire on July 13.

On or after July 6, the court will set a date for a full adversary hearing on the Plaintiffs’ motions for a preliminary injunction.

"Even President Biden has said that states have every right to do what’s best for our economies. I’m confident the courts will rule in favor of getting Marylanders back to work, supporting struggling small businesses, and continuing our economic recovery," Governor Hogan said after the decision.

“There is a record number of jobs available right now, and this program is making it harder to fill them and fully reopen our businesses. It’s hurting our recovery across every region and industry. The state is appealing today’s ruling," emphasized Mike Ricci, Hogan's Director of Communications.

RELATED: "Right down to the wire" Lawsuit over unemployment benefits moved back to state court

Alec Summerfield is a pro bono attorney with the Maryland Unemployed Workers Union. The legal aspect of their claim was the the decision violates title 8 of the Maryland Annotated Code.

“That $300 represents food on the table,” Summerfield said. “That represents child care, that represents car payments, house payments, healthcare payments.”

The defense is basing their argument around the belief that rescinding these benefits early will get people back to work and help fill empty jobs.

RELATED: Lawsuit attempts to stop Gov. Hogan from cutting federal unemployment benefits

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