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Friday, May 8, 2020

Townhall: Federalism doesn’t pause during a pandemic

Federalism doesn’t pause during a pandemic

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Posted: May 04, 2020





As the COVID-19 lockdowns continues to grind on in most states, President Trump has signaled an intense desire for state governors to reopen their respective states. This pressure has ranged from the subtle to the overt. In one particularly alarming development, the president even went so far as to declare that the decision to lift the current stay at home orders is his to make, not state governors.

“The authority of the president of the United States” over reopening state economies “is total,” according to President Trump. “I have the ultimate authority.”

While the president’s remarks are no doubt intended to offset the already sizeable damage done to a large portion of the electorate’s economic prospects, any action taken by the federal government must account for the separation of powers built into our system of federalism.

Under the American system of federalism, the primary power to combat COVID-19 rests with the states, not the federal government or the president.

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