Federal vs. State Powers in Rush to Reopen Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic
Hodge JG. Federal vs. state powers in rush to reopen amid coronavirus pandemic. Just Security. 2020; (online April 27)
4 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 27, 2020
Despite millions of active infections and tens of thousands of COVID-19 deaths, multiple state governors, led by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, are actively reopening businesses and withdrawing stay-home orders. President Trump should be elated. The White House has aggressively pushed state efforts to reboot the economy. Yet, the president publicly criticized Kemp for proceeding “too soon” in a rush to reopen. Underlying the political theatrics, the novel coronavirus is exposing a deep rift in American federalism as federal and state governments vie for primacy in remedying the nation’s ills. What powers could the president use to influence state actions whether to impose or lift mitigation measures? What zone of decisions are designated for the states alone?
Keywords: COVID-19, coronavirus, federalism, state, police power, re-opening, social distance, constitution, powers, legal, law
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