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

See all articles by Richard J. Peltz-Steele

Richard J. Peltz-Steele

University of Massachusetts School of Law at Dartmouth

Date Written: March 31, 2020

Abstract

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

Peltz-Steele, Richard J., COVID-19 Stresses United States on Domestic Borders; War Analog Might Foster State Solidarity upon Federal Power (March 31, 2020). Law Against Pandemic (blog), 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3565322 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3565322

Richard J. Peltz-Steele (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts School of Law at Dartmouth ( email )

333 Faunce Corner Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747-1252
United States
15089851102 (Phone)

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