As New Jersey and other states implement increasingly restrictive measures in order to #flattenthecurve it is important to stay mindful of the impact that these measures have on our Constitutional rights. For example:
1st Amendment: State legislatures will begin meeting, voting, and creating laws remotely. You are unable to peacefully assemble to protest proposed legislation.
2nd Amendment: Even as states release incarcerated people from jails, states have also banned the sale of firearms.
4th Amendment: The DOJ can and may seek broad emergency powers. These can relax your protections with regard to arrests, searches and seizure as well as arraignments, detention hearings, etc.
5th Amendment: The ability to work and make money has been temporarily disrupted for many. However, your right to these things shall not be deprived without due process.
We are clearly in uncharted waters as we deal with coronavirus and its immediate and long term public health, economic, and societal implications. As of right now, parting with some civil liberties to allow the professionals to get a grip seems like a reasonable step. However, as we come out of this thing on top, let’s bring our Constitutional rights with us.