Detroit-based US Attorney to investigate unconstitutional coronavirus rules in states and cities

Posted at 6:29 PM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 10:46:41-04

WASHINGTON (AP/WXYZ) — Attorney General William Barr has directed federal prosecutors across the country to “be on the lookout” for state and local coronavirus-related restrictions that could be unconstitutional.

Barr issued a two-page memo on Monday to U.S. attorneys, saying the department would pursue action in court, if necessary. He said federal prosecutors may need to step in if a state or local ordinance “crosses the line” from appropriately exercising authority to an “overbearing infringement of constitutional and statutory protections.”

Many states have issued orders compelling residents to stay home, with limited exceptions like essential trips for food and other supplies to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The Department of Justice also announced that United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Matthew Schneider and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Eric Dreiband would oversee and coordinate the efforts.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Read our daily Coronavirus Live Blog for the latest updates and news on coronavirus.

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

Find out how you can help metro Detroit restaurants struggling during the pandemic.

See all of our Helping Each Other stories.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.