Temporary based on emergency is permissible

Thursday, March 26, 2020
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

empty pews in churchWhether they're viewed as safety measures or the government "erring on the side of caution," one attorney explains that orders barring or requiring certain things are legal under the right conditions.

Some states are, at least for now, not allowing people to gather in large numbers. Even churches are not exempt. That has resulted in at least one lawsuit claiming individuals' constitutional rights are being violated. Meanwhile, Florida's governor has mandated that airline passengers from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut must self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in The Sunshine State.

Speaking on American Family Radio's "Today's Issues" program, American Family Association General Counsel Abraham Hamilton III said if a measure is temporary and based on an emergency, then it can be viewed as permissible.

Hamilton

"Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) has limited his executive order concerning quarantining to those who will be coming from an area that represents over half the total coronavirus cases in the entire country," Hamilton notes. "So Governor DeSantis would be on sound legal footing if his instruction is limited in duration, is narrowly tailored to address the issues surrounding what's been recognized globally as a pandemic, and the application will be confined to a time period related to that particular pandemic."

Alaska is requiring airport travelers from any location to quarantine or self-isolate for 14 days. That order, which will be reviewed by April 21st, requires travelers to identify the "designated quarantine location" of their choice. Hawaii has issued a similar order that goes into effect today. 

While recognizing that these measures have been difficult for everyone, Jeremy Dys of First Liberty Institute recently told OneNewsNow that a "permanent ban on religious gatherings will never fly under the Constitution."


Editor's Note: American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.

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