Barr to prosecutors: Look for unconstitutional virus rules

Posted at 5:44 AM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 05:44:16-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General William Barr has directed federal prosecutors across the country to “be on the lookout” for state and local coronavirus-related restrictions that could be unconstitutional.

Barr issued a two-page memo on Monday to U.S. attorneys, saying the department would pursue action in court, if necessary.

He said federal prosecutors may need to step in if a state or local ordinance “crosses the line” from appropriately exercising authority to an “overbearing infringement of constitutional and statutory protections.”

Many states have issued orders compelling residents to stay home, with limited exceptions like essential trips for food and other supplies to slow the spread of the coronavirus.