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Media Editors / March 27, 2020

Video: Are Americans’ Rights Being Eroded During Virus Hysteria?

When do precautionary measures interfere with our constitutional rights? Anthony Brian Logan explores the question.

Countries are taking extraordinary measures to slow the China Virus pandemic. Many of these measures limit individual freedom and may also violate rights guaranteed by national constitutions. Italy’s complete lockdown, enforced by criminal penalties, probably violates its constitution. Norwegian lawmakers have proposed an emergency law that temporarily gives the government unprecedented power to override the constitution and national laws to thwart the virus.

The United States now faces this same dilemma: To what extent should the Constitution be violated to fight the China Virus? Lockdowns, especially ones that apply to people who haven’t tested positive for the virus, are constitutionally questionable. The threat by the leaders of Newark, New Jersey, to prosecute residents who spread false information about the virus — if carried out — could violate the First Amendment. Some people in California have challenged the city of San Jose’s authority to force a gun shop to close, citing their right to arm themselves.

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