Justice Samuel Alito characterized lingering local and state coronavirus lockdowns Thursday as a “constitutional stress test” that are placing restrictions on liberty that were “previously unimaginable.”
“We have never before seen restrictions as severe, extensive and prolonged,” Alito said in a virtual speech to The Federalist Society, according to The Associated Press. He added that the lockdowns have introduced “previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty.”
Stressing his belief that the coronavirus is a real public health emergency, Alito went on to emphasize that the lockdowns are testing the limits of constitutional freedoms and bringing to the surface trends that have been percolating long before the pandemic, and warned that such measures must be kept from becoming a “recurring feature after the pandemic has passed.”
“The COVID crisis has served as a sort of constitutional stress test, and in doing so it has highlighted disturbing trends that were already present before the virus struck,” Alito said.
The justice, who was nominated