Rhode Island Sends National Guard on Hunt for New Yorkers
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
A sign of the times: Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) has dragooned the National Guard and state law enforcement to go door-to-door looking for New York residents who may have fled the coronavirus.
Those New Yorkers the authorities discover are told they must quarantine themselves for 14 days.
Raimondo has also ordered police to stop all out-of-state cars entering Rhode Island, telling occupants they, too need to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Rhode Island’s blockade isn’t unique. Texas and Florida have also restricted travelers from certain states.
Such movement restrictions raise serious constitutional questions:
Wendy Parmet, a public-health law professor at Northeastern University in Boston, said travel restrictions or measures at the state level can be discriminatory. She said the Constitution gives the power to regulate interstate travel and commerce to the federal government, not the states.
“Each state turning into its own fortress is deeply problematic. Certainly, it flies in the face of more contemporary understandings of privileges, immunities and right to travel,” she said. “It’s shortsighted.”