COVID-19 Stresses United States on Domestic Borders; War Analog Might Foster State Solidarity upon Federal Power
Law Against Pandemic (blog), 2020
6 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2020
Date Written: March 31, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic is stressing not only our healthcare systems, but our political and legal systems. The pandemic has challenged our sense of identity in humankind, pitching us back and forth between a spirit of global solidarity and a competition of human tribes for resources and survival. That tension plays out in our political and legal responses to the pandemic, manifesting the natural human temptation to tribalism in both international and intranational dimensions. As policymakers struggle to respond to the pandemic and to curb the outbreak of COVID-19, I have been struck by the emergence of interstate tensions in the United States. The pressure of the pandemic, aggravated by a slow and uncertain governmental response at the federal level, has been a brusque reminder that the United States are a plural: a federation of states that famously endeavored “to form a more perfect Union,” but that, like human governance itself, remains a work in progress.
Keywords: borders, coronavirus, interstate commerce, privileges and immunities, US Constitution, war powers, public health, pandemic
JEL Classification: H12, H51, H73, H75, H77, I18, K14, K19, K32, Z18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation