New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy cited “broad authority” as his reason for issuing orders that contradict the Constitution.
During an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, Murphy said he was “not thinking of the Bill of Rights” when he placed his state on lockdown to protect citizens from the new coronavirus pandemic. Murphy’s orders came by way of executive order on March 21. Residents were mandated to stay in their homes with the exception of leaving for essential errands, like grocery shopping and doctor appointments.
Last week, police in Lakewood, NJ fined 15 men for attending the funeral of a popular rabbi at a local synagogue.
“I want’t thinking of the Bill of Rights when we did this,” Murphy told Carlson. “We do have broad authority within the state.”
Tucker Carlson asks New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy where he got the authority to nullify the Bill of rights when he banned religious services in his state:— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 16, 2020
“I wasn’t thinking of the Bill of Rights when we did this… The science says people have to stay away from each other.” pic.twitter.com/DPQ5d2DFl2
The Bill of Rights consists of the first ten amendments of the Constitution. The First Amendment protects the right to gather, speak freely, and worship without government intervention.
New Jersey isn’t the only state that has put the Constitution on hold during the coronavirus crisis. All but five states have implemented some sort of lock-down orders.
On Saturday, police in Santa Cruz, California bragged on Facebook about fining a group of young men for “hanging out” at a local 7-11 store. “7 x $1000 = One Expensive Hang Out,” the agency wrote on their Facebook wall.
“Officers cited seven $1000 tickets for Shelter In Place Violations to help these guys remember their time in Santa Cruz,” the post read. “If you are not from Santa Cruz and you put our community at risk, you will get a ticket.”
Stories of this nature are popping up across the country, but many citizens are beginning to push back.
Several Facebook Groups dedicated to the reopening of America have been gaining traction. The group “Open America” attracted over 1,000 members in its first 24 hours. The page is filled with links, commentary, and questions, all geared towards the goal of getting Americans back to work and off of lockdown orders that many consider to be unconstitutional.
Residents of Michigan have been regularly protesting their state’s capital. A drive-by protest earlier this week caused gridlock in the streets of Lansing. Similar protests are scheduled for later this week in Louisiana, Minnesota, and South Carolina.