Attorney General Bill Barr is threatening governors who keep stay at home orders in place with legal action if they don’t open their economies.
The Justice Department will consider taking legal action against governors who continue to impose stringent rules for dealing with the coronavirus that infringe on constitutional rights even after the crisis subsides in their states, Attorney General William Barr said.
“We have to give businesses more freedom to operate in a way that’s reasonably safe,” Barr said. “To the extent that governors don’t and impinge on either civil rights or on the national commerce — our common market that we have here — then we’ll have to address that.”
“We’re looking carefully at a number of these rules that are being put into place,” Barr said. “And if we think one goes too far, we initially try to jawbone the governors into rolling them back or adjusting them. And if they’re not and people bring lawsuits, we file statement of interest and side with the plaintiffs.”
Barr is threatening to use taxpayer money to bankroll lawsuits from Trump supporters who want the economy to reopen, even if the virus is not under control and it is not safe for people to return to work.
The Attorney General can’t take legal action to force governors to reopen the economies of states, but what he can do is waste loads of taxpayer and make cash strapped states go to court, just so that the Department of Justice can lose and the governors’ right to control when an economy reopens during a public health crisis is reaffirmed.
Republicans love to talk about states’ rights, but what Barr is suggesting is an unprecedented attack on the rights of governors to run their states as they see fit.
Attorney General Barr is admitting that his motivation for this action is to get the economy open again, not out of a desire to protect public health, but his sole motive is the protection of Donald Trump.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association