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Civil Liberties in the Age of COVID-19

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Published on: May 12, 2021

Coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 outbreak, The Rutherford Institute has issued an in-depth report on the impact of the nation’s response to the pandemic on civil liberties. The report, “Civil Liberties in the Age of COVID-19,” analyzes the various tactics employed by federal and state governments to lock down the nation, the toll such restrictions have taken on constitutional rights, and whether such actions constituted an overreach of the government’s legal authority.

“As the Declaration of Independence states, we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights—to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness—that no government can take away from us. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped the government from constantly trying to usurp our freedoms at every turn. Indeed, the nature of government is such that it invariably oversteps its limits, abuses its authority, and flexes its totalitarian muscles,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “Take this COVID-19 crisis, for example. What started out as an apparent effort to prevent a novel coronavirus from sickening the nation (and the world) has become yet another means by which world governments (including our own) can expand their powers, abuse their authority, and further oppress their constituents. Until now, the police state has been more circumspect in its power grabs, but this latest state of emergency has brought the beast out of the shadows.”

“Civil Liberties in the Age of COVID-19” addresses the delicate balance that must be struck between security and civil liberties, the hazards of government overreach, and the long-term ramifications of an “emergency state” in which the government is increasingly empowered to declare a state of emergency and impose lockdowns, mandates and restrictions in order to address a broadening range of concerns that prioritize the government’s wide-ranging and varying institutional concerns over the individual rights of the citizenry.

The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties organization, provides legal assistance at no charge to individuals whose constitutional rights have been threatened or violated and educates the public on a wide spectrum of issues affecting their freedoms.

Article posted with permission from John Whitehead

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