Barr Directs Justice Department to ‘Take Action’ Against States Whose Coronavirus Restrictions Infringe on Civil Rights

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Attorney General William Barr is ready to take actions against governors who have imposed coronavirus restrictions, aimed at stopping the spread of the virus, that infringe on civil rights.

In a memo on Monday, Barr wrote, “Even in times of emergency, when reasonable and temporary restrictions are placed on rights, the First Amendment and federal statutory law prohibit discrimination against religious institutions and religious believers.”

He continued, “The legal restrictions on state and local authority are not limited to discrimination against religious institutions and religious believers. For example, the Constitution also forbids, in certain circumstances, discrimination against disfavored speech and undue interference with the national economy.”

Barr said that the Justice Department would examine states’ coronavirus restrictions and if a restriction “crosses the line” the department “may have an obligation to address that overreach in federal court.”

In light of that, Barr said that he had directed Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Eric Dreiband and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Matthew Schneider to “monitor state and local policies and, if necessary, take action to correct them.” – READ MORE

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