COVID-19 restrictions were imposed unilaterally by a state or local executive.
316 million Americans across 42 states lived under stay-at-home orders in response to COVID-19. Unemployment has skyrocketed because of business closures, with unemployment highest in states with more severe shutdown orders. Travel is restricted. Nearly every aspect of life has changed.
Although emergencies may require swift, initial responses from an executive official, time allows legislators to fulfill their constitutional duty as the people’s representatives who make law, and for courts to constrain the worst abuses of power.