State officials who sign extreme social distancing measures into law could find themselves in court answering for their actions, one of the nation’s top legal advisers has said.
Governors have been warned not to continue imposing excessive restrictions indefinitely with the excuse of trying to contain the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Virus pandemic or else there will be litigation.
“We did more than put them on notice,” U.S. Attorney General William Barr told the “Hugh Hewitt Show” radio program.
The attorney general confirmed the U.S. Department of Justice recently filed a statement of interest in a Mississippi legal dispute about whether imposing restrictions on religious gatherings but not commercial meetings could constitute discrimination against faith.
“I issued a statement pointing out that whatever measures are placed against religion have to be placed against all comparable commercial and other activities [since] you cannot single out religion for special burdens,” he said. “I understand that the [Mississippi] government has pulled back from those restrictions at least to some degree so far.”
Barr is now focusing his efforts on governors who are using state legislatures to force Americans to suspend businesses and stay at home on the welfare benefit.
“You have to keep your distance of 6 feet, you should be washing, you should be wearing personal protective equipment when you are out and about, those are fine,” he said. “[However,] blunter instruments that say everyone has to shelter in place, to stay at home regardless of the situation on the ground, or you know, you shut down a business regardless of the capacity of the business to operate safely for its customers and its employees, those are very blunt instruments.”
Since the wave of infections appears to have reached its peak in some states, he believes the time has come to revise regulatory restrictions.
“The president’s initial approach of a period of time to bend the curve were appropriate but I think we have made a lot of progress in bending the curve,” he said. “I think we now, as I say, have to fine tune these things and I think you know, as I say, I think we have to adapt more to the circumstances. The president’s plan does that.”
The remarks came after the Michigan Conservative Coalition recently mobilized hundreds of motorists to join an Operation Gridlock protest in downtown Lansing against Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s latest social distancing measures.
The backlash came after Whitmer recently ordered all residents to stay at home, and strictly prohibited visiting family members and friends unless they provide care. Any gatherings regardless of size or family relationship are also banned until at least the beginning of May.