Is it time for America to end the lockdowns? This may shock some, but Attorney General William Barr thinks so.
Barr says it is time for many of the coronavirus measures that have been imposed throughout the country to come to an end.
“It is time to start rolling back some of these restrictions in an orderly and sensible way and the president has provided his Opening the United States Again plan that provides a sensible approach — framework — to that,” he said during a Twitter question-and-answer session on Friday, according to the Washington Times.
During Friday’s session, Barr spoke a bit about how the Constitution works during a time of crisis, such as this. And, although the federal and state governments are granted broad powers in such a time of emergency, he said that such powers are not unlimited.
“The Bill of Rights doesn’t go away during a crisis like this, but what it does do is it requires the government to justify any restrictions as truly necessary and ensure there are not other ways of addressing the government’s interests that are less burdensome on our rights,” Barr explained.
According to Barr, it is now getting to the point where the measures are overly burdensome, and that is when they can become illegal.
Not a fan
Barr has been a frequent critic of many of the coronavirus measures that local governments have put into place since the start of the illness, calling them “draconian.”
Just last week, in fact, Barr distributed a two-page memo to U.S. attorneys telling them to “be on the lookout” for local measures that may violate the Constitution.
“If a state or local ordinance crosses the line from an appropriate exercise of authority to stop the spread of COVID-19 into an overbearing infringement of constitutional and statutory protections, the Department of Justice may have an obligation to address that overreach in federal court,” Barr wrote.
At the start of the virus, when it “was very contagious and we didn’t want it to overwhelm our health care system,” Barr said that the various measures made sense both as a public policy matter and legally. But that is no longer the case.
Noting how the coronavirus numbers seem to be going down across the country, Barr believes it is time to lift some of the measures, else they really could be said to be impinging on our Constitutional rights.
We couldn’t agree more.