The introduction of social distancing measures remains the subject of political and political debate. The courts have generally upheld these measures in the interest of protecting public health in emergency situations, although they have recognized the limitation of individual rights in cases brought by individuals and groups wishing to fully exercise these rights. In three cases, a review by the Supreme Court has been requested so far. The Supreme Court rejected the stays in the three cases in which the plaintiffs appealed to block government stay-at-home orders. Other cases are pending before district courts and courts of appeal. While state and local opening measures may render some of the current litigation obsolete, states may decide to reinstate some of these orders if there are new COVID-19 outbreaks in the coming year, and we can expect similar legal challenges. Other courts have allowed stay-at-home measures to remain in effect while prosecutions are ongoing. A federal district court in California has rejected an injunction in a case brought by a gunsmith owner and political candidate who wanted to hold public protests and rallies in the state capital, citing the «enlightened efforts of state officials to protect all citizens, especially the most vulnerable from a deadly pandemic.» Another federal district court rejected a motion to block the Maryland stay-at-home order in a lawsuit filed by a number of plaintiffs, including members of the state legislature who wanted to attend political rallies and businesses that lost a lot of money because they were deemed non-essential and forced to close. The Maryland court concluded that «the orders in question have a `real or substantial connection` to the public health crisis.» The Maryland plaintiffs appealed that decision to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. Other federal lawsuits were filed by anti-abortion protesters after they were arrested for violating home residency orders in North Carolina and Michigan; Neither case resulted in a decision on the merits of the case, as the orders had expired or had been amended, so that they had lapsed. In March 2020, when many U.S.
states and municipalities issued their first emergency orders to combat Covid-19, the government`s legal authority to respond quickly and aggressively to this unprecedented crisis was widely accepted. Today, that acceptance is fraying. As the first executive orders expire and states extend or modify them, legal challenges have arisen.1 In the next phase of the pandemic response, restrictions will increase and decrease as threat levels change.2 As public and political opposition grows, further legal challenges are inevitable. The dissenting judges pointed out that in state law, the emergency process «is not consistent with the swift and decisive action necessary to control and suppress a deadly communicable disease.» Depending on the disagreement, the process of developing emergency rules consists of 11 to 13 steps that take 18 to 49 days, after which a legislative committee can suspend the emergency rule, requiring the secretary to start again. In addition, the emergency rules cannot be changed without another regulation. According to the dissent, state law allowed the Secretary to issue a non-rule-making order that applies to a temporary specific factual circumstance, such as the control and suppression of a particular communicable disease. The power of the secretary is reasonably limited, as persons who believe they will be aggrieved by such an order could file a constitutional challenge. The answer is complicated and different for state and local governments than for the federal government. This article will only cover state and local laws, as there is no federal order to stay home yet. That might change, but right now there are state and local restrictions on leaving the house, group gatherings, etc. Unfortunately, some jurisdictions are beginning to use stay-at-home orders to stack costs.
For example, an Indiana man who was arrested for driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated was also charged with violating the statewide stay-at-home order — a Class B offense under Indiana law, which carries a fine of up to $1,000 or 180 days in jail. And in Ohio, a traffic stop led to the arrest of two people for drug possession and violating the governor`s stay-at-home order. In two cases appealed to the 9th and 7th Circuits Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court rejected requests by churches in California and Illinois to block orders to remain at State House while appeals are pending. The California church argued that the governor`s decision to place churches in Stage 3 instead of Stage 2 of the state`s reopening plan violated its right to freedom of worship. Der 9. The district upheld the rejection of a preliminary injunction by a federal district court in California. A Michigan state court has refused to issue a preliminary injunction in a case challenging the scope of the governor`s home injunction. The plaintiffs, five Michigan residents, alleged that the domestic travel restrictions violated their due process rights. The Court noted that while the order severely restricted individual constitutional rights, the restrictions were proportionate given the current public health crisis. The court also highlighted the temporary nature of the restrictions in relation to the «too permanent» impact on «those who contract the virus and are unable to recover, as well as their families and friends.» In contrast, a federal court in Kentucky struck down a provision in the governor`s order requiring individuals to quarantine for 14 days after entering the state, in a case brought by state residents who wanted to travel freely in and out of the state. The Kentucky court found that the requirement was not narrowly suited to the government`s purpose because it applied to a person visiting a friend eight miles away in Ohio, but not if the visit took place eight miles away in Kentucky.
Other officials took the opposite approach, explicitly pointing out that stay-at-home orders are enforced by the criminal justice system. When Maryland Governor Larry Hogan recently issued a stay-at-home order, he specifically warned that violations of the order would be punishable by arrest and detention. But even under these circumstances, local police said they hoped to resort to arrests only if people did not comply after possible violations of order were explained. «The poster`s view reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of what these states` stay-at-home orders are,» said James E. Tysse, a Supreme Court partner and appellate practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in Washington, D.C., which focuses on constitutional issues. What is a stay-at-home order? A stay-at-home order is the governor who orders people not to go out in public unless absolutely necessary. Why is this stay-at-home order necessary? Right now, COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in our state and some of our communities, and without additional measures, Louisiana`s health care system will have more patients than it can treat. The state is working to increase its health capacity, but people must also take steps to prevent the spread of this disease.
Our medical community works overtime to care for the sick, but it needs the public`s help to prevent even more people from needing care. When can I leave the house? People can leave their homes to buy things like groceries, buy medicines, or go to work when their work is essential. If you must go outside, be sure to practice social distancing measures and keep 6 feet between you and the people around you. Also: People are encouraged to get outside during this time and stay active as long as they practice social distancing when around their neighbors. One of the most politically sensitive provisions of the lockdown orders was restrictions on public gatherings, such as those that apply to religious worship. There have been several examples around the world of worship services serving as super-spreading events for COVID-19. Federal appellate courts have split over whether social distancing orders should be lifted or remain in place, while prosecutions for alleged violations of religious freedom are pending. In the two religious cases that have so far to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, the court allowed social distancing orders to remain in effect while appeals are pending. In the lawsuit against restrictions on personal worship, churches and other places of worship argue that worship services are distinguished and are not treated in the same way as other commercial activities. As states begin to reopen, some complaints claim churches should be included in earlier than later phases of reopening. Below is an overview of the range of jurisdictionally approved approaches to enforcing COVID-19 containment policies, from warnings to civil enforcement to criminal sanctions.
To date, most jurisdictions have resisted the approach of arresting individuals, particularly as a first response to non-compliance with implementing regulations. However, this trend could change as the pandemic worsens. For many communities and families, stay-at-home orders are an unprecedented new test, but some jurisdictions are taking proactive steps to avoid confusion and increase transparency behind the enforcement actions used.