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Andrew Napolitano believes America needs more heroes who will resist “unlawful” coronavirus lockdown orders issued in states across the nation.
The Fox News senior judicial analyst contended that U.S. governors are “without authority to stop everything from happening” in the country as they overstep their power by issuing stay-at-home orders to stem the spread of the pandemic.
(Source: Fox News)
Napolitano spoke with the co-hosts of “Fox & Friends” Tuesday about the various orders being challenged in courts across the country as violations of the Bill of Rights. His remarks came following reports of New Jersey business owners defying the orders of Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and reopening the Atilis Gym in Bellmawr this week.
Ian Smith, one of the gym owners, was praised by Napolitano as an “American hero and national treasure” for his stand.
“We need more people to resist these unlawful incursions into freedom by the governors,” the former New Jersey Superior Court judge said.
The New Jersey gym owners had expressed their frustration with the Democrat governor’s ongoing statewide order that had kept their business shut down for three months due to the virus outbreak. They reopened on Monday with a crowd of supporters on hand to cheer them on. Police initially told them they were in violation of the governor’s order, but told everyone to “have a nice day,” and left.
NJ gym owner tells Tucker cops returned with warning: Tomorrow, we take you down https://t.co/pzsPJDK2au
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 19, 2020
The later returned to issue a summons and Murphy vowed he would “take action” if they continued to defy him.
“If you show up at that gym tomorrow, there’s going to be a different reality than showing today,” Murphy said at a press briefing Monday. “I also don’t want to start World War 3.”
In other states, orders are being challenged in courts, and, in many instances such as Wisconsin and Oregon, judges are ruling the restrictions are null and void as officials failed to consult with state legislatures.
“All of these lockdown orders are without lawful authority, they’re unconstitutional, they violate the Bill of Rights,” Napolitano told Fox News. “They interfere with our freedom of religion, our freedom of travel, our right to privacy, our freedom of speech, our freedom of assembly. I could just go right down the line.”
He noted how the concession by Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers that he lost the battle over coronavirus restrictions was “right,” referring to the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling last week that said he overstepped his authority when he extended the initial order to May 26 without consulting legislators.
“The law in Wisconsin says if you want to shut things down for more than 28 days, you have to get the consent of the legislature and he didn’t do it,” he said, adding that the rule in Oregon is similar.
Co-host Steve Doocy asked Napolitano “what kind of civil liberties” Americans gave up in the efforts to combat the pandemic, especially as it first began to escalate in the U.S.
“We gave up a lot of civil liberties,” he responded, citing examples like the right to go to religious services and to assemble as groups.
He cited a local incident in the New Jersey town he lives as reluctant police broke up a demonstration of about 25 people who were protesting from the safety of their own cars, using bullhorns and were “by definition” more than six feet apart.
“You can have demonstrations, you can assemble peacefully, you can travel where you want,” Napolitano reiterated. “You just need courage like Ian Smith and like the people who challenged the governors in Oregon and Wisconsin.”
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