Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Civil Liberties ... in the cross hairs

Italy has imposed unprecedented restrictions on its population to control the virus outbreak. Will the US resort to similar measures? Photo credit: © Fotogramma/Abaca via ZUMA Press

Could civil liberties be permanently snuffed out because of COVID-19? Good question isn't it as the disease continues to wreak havoc on the world 24/7.

“Courts matter” in achieving a balance between protecting public health and respecting civil liberties, said Goodwin. In the Hickox case, she observed, the Ebola crisis had become politicized, and the court ruled that the state had not proven its case that she was a public health threat.

But civil liberties advocates have less faith in the courts under the present administration, she added: “Let’s be clear. The terminology being used in many quarters is that the President has stacked the court,” said Goodwin, who directs the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy at the University of California, Irvine. There are concerns about the influence of “political expediency” on the independence of judges, and whether they can be counted on to rely “on the evidence at hand,” she said.

Given “who sits on the courts these days,” she said, “maybe … we ought to be far more concerned about individuals’ civil liberties.”

The number of conservative judges in federal courts has surged. By the end of 2019, President Donald Trump had successfully appointed 187 of them — including roughly a quarter of all sitting circuit court judges, and two Supreme Court justices.

As stated before in BRT and FB, this is Trump's legacy to America and it's not a good one by any stretch of the imagination.

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