The Department of Justice is signing onto challenges to the stay-at-home restrictions imposed by the state governments of California and Illinois, suggesting legal challenges to the onerous executive orders could stand a chance at success with the federal government’s support.
Attorney General Bill Barr had previously suggested that some restrictions enacted by state and local governments in response to coronavirus were ‘excessive,’ declining to rule out that the DOJ would support challenges to their extension. The AG had pledged to watch out for “overbearing infringement of constitutional and statutory protections.”
The Justice Department has filed a statement of interest backing a lawsuit against Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, and sent letters to Los Angeles County officials questioning the length of the county’s planned stay-at-home restrictions, which has been extended indefinitely with some speculating the order could remain in place until July.
“Reports of your recent public statements indicate that you suggested the possibility of long-term lockdown of the residents in the city and county of Los Angeles, regardless of the legal justification for such restrictions,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband wrote. “We remain concerned about what may be an arbitrary and heavy-handed approach to continuing stay-at-home requirements.”
The Illinois statement of interest has even greater legal significance, with the Justice Department signing onto a lawsuit filed against the governor over the ongoing lockdown. Steven Weinhoeft, the US Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, explained the federal government’s attitude towards Illinois’ similarly indefinite lockdown period in the legal document.
“However well-intentioned they may be, the executive orders appear to reach far beyond the scope of the 30-day emergency authority granted to the Governor under Illinois law,” explained the prosecutor. “Even during times of crisis, executive actions undertaken in the name of public safety must be lawful.”
Expect legal challenges to stay-at-home restrictions to gather in steam as the public tires of their seeming indefinite nature and the economic consequences become more readily apparent. Blue state governors can’t expect to be backed up by the federal government, either.
Tommy Tuberville is Refusing to Debate Jeff Sessions in Alabama Senate Runoff
Tuberville has serious questions to answer on his immigration policy views.
As the Republican primary runoff for nomination for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, football coach Tommy Tuberville is doubling down on a strategy of refusing to debate former Senator and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, leaving serious questions about his immigration policy positions unanswered.
Tuberville hopes to cruise to an easy victory on the basis of support from Donald Trump, who remains incensed at Sessions over a feud related to his former Attorney General’s recusal from Robert Mueller’s witch hunt Russia investigation. But Sessions has emphasized that the feud- now in the past- can’t be all that comes under consideration for Alabama’s Republican voters.
Tuberville steadfastly refuses to clarify some of his troubling statements related to immigration policy, including stating that the United States needs 400,000 Indian visa workers to provide labor for America’s corporations. Tuberville continues to rebuff attempts from Sessions to organize a debate to discuss actual policy before the July 14th runoff election, which will determine who will go on to face Democrat Doug Jones in November.
Sessions reiterated that Tuberville refuses to participate in a debate in a tweet responding to President Trump’s latest criticism of him, pointing out that Tuberville’s GOPe sympathies render him a suspect so-called supporter of the President’s ‘MAGA’ agenda.
— Jeff Sessions (@jeffsessions) May 23, 2020
In yet another demonstration of stark anachronism with Republican voters of today, Tuberville has even said that “we can’t worry about China” in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
In stark contrast with Tuberville, Jeff Sessions has what is almost certainly the strongest conservative track record on immigration policy of any former Senator or congressman. He’s almost single-handedly derailed several amnesty attempts, and most recently led the charge in calling for a federal immigration moratorium in response to the coronavirus recession that President Trump has partially implemented.
What does Tuberville, a political novice who frames himself as a great ally of President Trump, have to fear from a debate?
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