GOP’rs Launch Campaign To Get Trump & Barr To Sue States


A group of prominent conservatives have launched a campaign to get the Trump Administration’s Justice Department to file lawsuits against local leaders who have imposed tough social distancing demands in attempts to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. Those behind the campaign include Matt Schlapp of the American Conservative Union, Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, and Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots, among others, all of whom sent a letter to the Justice Department this past week arguing for the lawsuits. It’s as if they live in a self-induced delusion in which leaders simply attempting to secure public health are actually some kind of nefarious schemers against liberty.

In their letter, the prominent conservatives insist:

‘Many see this crisis as an opportunity to reduce liberty and enlarge government power in permanent ways. We urge the DOJ to take numerous, specific actions, right now, to focus and act against this disturbing new danger to our country’s future.’

These concerns are grounded in delusion. Some on the right have claimed that social distancing demands infringe on Americans’ rights to bear arms. But nowhere in the Constitution is there a clause insisting that every second of every day, even amidst a global pandemic killing thousands of Americans a day, every single American must have unfettered access to buy whatever guns they want.

Nonetheless, those behind the letter called local leaders “petty, would-be dictators” and insisted that they’d perpetrated “rampant abuses of constitutional rights and civil liberties” amidst their Coronavirus response efforts. First of all, that’s not true. Justice Department lawyers themselves have previously written that “[as] a general matter, prohibiting large gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19 undeniably advances a compelling government interest.” There’s no plot against liberty — or whatever. Rather, there’s a comprehensive response across the U.S. picking up the slack left by the struggling White House, which waited months to act beyond restrictions on travel from China, where the Coronavirus first emerged.

Secondly — do those protesting social distancing demands seriously want to risk their lives and those of everyone around them just to prove a point? Intermingling before the virus is under control makes the virus spread and kill more people.

The Justice Department said that they “are reviewing the letter,” according to POLITICO. Trump frequently retweets posts from Fitton, whose work often includes brazen mischaracterizations of reality, so he might be especially receptive.

This past week, after protests against social distancing demands sprung up in a handful of states, Trump posted a slew of all caps messages calling for the “liberation” of states with Democratic governors demanding social distancing.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D) commented:

‘[Trump’s] unhinged rantings and calls for people to “liberate” states could also lead to violence. We’ve seen it before. The president is fomenting domestic rebellion and spreading lies – even while his own administration says the virus is real, it is deadly and we have a long way to go before restrictions can be lifted.’

Numerous states, including Washington, have joined regional pacts to coordinate their own Coronavirus response efforts distinct from the president.