TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Jay Webber introduced legislation Thursday providing that a governor’s violation of his own order nullifies and negates that order for the rest of us. The legislation (A4255) is entitled “Murphy’s Law.”
“Our citizens are entitled to the equal protection of law, and Murphy’s Law embeds an equal-protection principle that his triggered automatically when the gubernatorial lawmaker becomes the lawbreaker,” said Webber (R-Morris). “Fundamental fairness dictates that executive orders should end for everyone when governors breaks their own rules for themselves. Murphy’s Law makes sure that a governor’s going wrong results in a right for our citizens.”
Additionally, Murphy’s Law would create an affirmative defense against prosecution.
Violating Murphy’s executive orders have resulted in significant legal consequences. Those cited have been charged with disorderly persons offenses, punishable by imprisonment for up to six months and a fine of up to $1,000.
Col. Patrick Callahan, the acting superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said on Wednesday at Gov. Phil Murphy’s daily press briefing that 319 citations were issued for violations that have risen to an indictable level, plus an additional 3,371 citations for lesser noncompliance issues since Murphy’s emergency order was issued on March 9.
Webber has criticized Murphy for attending two rallies on Sunday, when the governor’s order still limited outside gatherings to no more than 25 people. Murphy lifted the order Tuesday and then issued an order exempting political protests.
Webber has criticized Murphy for violating the rules of his own executive order by attending two rallies on Sunday, when the governor’s order still limited outside gatherings to no more than 25 people and required social distancing. Murphy lifted the order Tuesday and then issued an order exempting political protests.
Webber also called on Murphy to exercise his pardon power for those cited for violating his executive orders after the governor twice violated his own order that limits the size of gatherings and requires social distancing.