Outrage: Court Ruling Allows State to Seize Citizens for Indefinite Quarantine and Isolation – Due Process No More?
The pandemic might be over, but the plague of government overreach looks more permanent all the time.
That’s the lesson out of a recent ruling by a New York state appeals court that effectively upheld the right of state officials to arbitrarily seize and detain pretty much any person they deem necessary.
And, of course, it’s in the name of public safety.
In the Nov. 17 ruling, according to the Albany Times Union, the Empire State’s Fourth Judicial Department overruled a lower court ruling that invalidated a state Health Department Rule 2.13 that spelled out the powers of officials to control the spread of communicable disease.
Last year, the Times Union reported, a New York Supreme Court judge threw out rule 2.13 on the grounds that it violated due process.
In his July 2022 ruling, the Times Union reported at the time, Justice Ronald Ploetz “said the law could conceivably grant the commissioner the power to force anyone into isolation or quarantine, despite a lack of evidence that a person is infected with COVID-19.”
“Involuntary detention is a severe deprivation of individual liberty, far more egregious than other health safety measures, such as requiring mask-wearing at certain venues,” Ploetz wrote, according to the Times Union. “Involuntary quarantine may have far-reaching consequences such as loss of income (or employment) and isolation from family.”
The regulation was adopted in February 2022 under the administration of Gov. Kathy Hochul — an elected official with such little regard for freedom of speech that she has literally told her state’s conservatives they should go live somewhere else.
Her administration, represented by Attorney General Letitia James (whom most Americans have heard of by now as former President Donald Trump’s legal nemesis in New York), appealed Ploetz’s ruling against the regulation.
In the Nov. 17 decision, the appeals court ruled in the state’s favor — not on the merits of rule 2.13 itself or the objections to it, but on the narrow grounds that the challengers lacked “standing” in the case.
The challengers are three Republican lawmakers — state Sen. George Borrello, Assemblyman Chris Tague and former Assemblyman, now U.S. Rep. Michael Lawler — and the conservative group Uniting NYS.
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