Maryland court rejects Gov. Hogan's attempt to block federal unemployment programs

Federal unemployment program is expected to last through at least July 13

Maryland’s highest court has upheld a lower court's emergency order keeping the state enrolled in enhanced federal unemployment programs.

News outlets report that Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera on Monday dismissed Gov. Larry Hogan's attempt to block the 10-day temporary restraining order a Baltimore judge issued Saturday. Unemployed residents will continue to receive federal unemployment benefits, including supplemental $300 weekly payments, through at least July 13.

The Court of Special Appeals, the state’s second highest court, had rejected an appeal from Hogan and the state’s Department of Labor on Saturday evening.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan talks to reporters during a news briefing about the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic in front of the Maryland State House April 2020. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan talks to reporters during a news briefing about the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic in front of the Maryland State House April 2020. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Court of Appeals noted that Baltimore Circuit Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill said in his temporary restraining order that he would schedule a full hearing on the validity of a preliminary injunction as soon as possible on or after Tuesday.

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Hogan’s administration had planned to cut off the benefits over the weekend, ahead of their expiration in September. Other states with Republican governors have taken similar steps.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that ending the benefits early would cut off a lifeline for struggling families. Hogan has said ending the benefits will help get people into jobs.