So, Is Quarantine, Isolation, and Curfew Legal?
With a shelter-in-place order and new mandatory curfew happening, the question filling social media right now is "Is this legal?" And there's really no clear cut answer. Well, one answer sort of covers all questions, stick with me.
According to our federal government, the Commerce Clause of our constitution covers all of this.
Under section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S. Code § 264), the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to take measures to prevent the entry and spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the United States and between states.
It's authority for this falls under the Center for Disease Control to institute this. However, there are stipulations also included that allow state, local, and tribal governments to enforce these same acts.
States have police power functions to protect the health, safety, and welfare of persons within their borders. To control the spread of disease within their borders, states have laws to enforce the use of isolation and quarantine.
These laws can vary from state to state and can be specific or broad. In some states, local health authorities implement state law. In most states, breaking a quarantine order is a criminal misdemeanor.
Tribes also have police power authority to take actions that promote the health, safety, and welfare of their own tribal members. Tribal health authorities may enforce their own isolation and quarantine laws within tribal lands, if such laws exist.
So who is in control of the entire shindig? The federal government in the overall picture, but states and local governments also have the power for this within their own borders.
This isn't the first time the City of Lawton has issued a mandatory curfew. They did just that back in the early 90's since our crime rate was so high with juvenile kids. The fine was $200, billed to the parents.
So the long and short of whether or not a shelter-in-place and/or curfew order is legal, the overall answer to the
Now you're free to hop out there after curfew and create confrontation yelling "I know my rights!" but odds are, that juice just isn't worth the squeeze.
If you want to read up on the matter, feel free. Here's the link to the CDC website.