Emergency restrictions should always be lifted as soon as the crisis has sufficiently abated.
by Damon Root
State and local officials are now taking sweeping emergency actions to combat the spread of COVID-19, including shelter-in-place orders, bans on large gatherings, and widespread business closures. Such measures are occurring as part of the traditional police powers of the states to regulate on behalf of public health, safety, and welfare. But even the most necessary of emergency actions may still pose a significant risk to liberty. That is why emergency restrictions should always be lifted as soon as the crisis has sufficiently abated.
The U.S. experience during World War I offers a cautionary tale about how government restrictions passed in the heat of a national emergency can linger around for years afterward.