Protestors say: Stay-at-home order violates the constitution

Coronavirus

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Sunday a handful of people stood together near the Firefighter Memorial in Colorado Springs.

The group, lead by Douglas Bruce, claims that the stay-at-home order, made by Governor Polis on March 25, is unconstitutional. The Governor requiring the public to only go out for essential trips, however, a small group of men gathering said this order violates their first amendment right of freedom to peacefully assemble.

On its face, it can seem like they are right, however, FOX21 found that the U.S. Constitution has a Commerce Clause.

According to the CDC website, the federal government derives its authority for isolation and quarantine from the Commerce Clause.

The CDC cites 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.

The authority for carrying out these functions on a daily basis has been delegated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Colorado Law echos that same sentiment, saying that the state and county public health departments have the authority to do the following:

“To establish, maintain, and enforce isolation and quarantine, and in pursuance thereof,
and for this purpose only, to exercise physical control over the property and over the persons of the people within the jurisdiction of the agency as the agency may find necessary for the protection of the public health;

“To close schools and public places and to prohibit gatherings of people when necessary
to protect public health;”

Colorado Revised Statutes Title 25. Health § 25-1-506

What’s more, the International Association of Firefighters said they condemned the use of their memorial for a political protest sending us the following statement:

The Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial is hallowed ground to the 320,000 members of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). To use this park and its stoic atmosphere for political purposes is unconscionable and disrespectful to the more than 8,500 brave men and women who are honored for their sacrifice on the Memorial’s Wall of Honor.
To do so as so many of fire fighters, paramedics and EMTs are on the frontlines putting themselves in harm’s way battling the COVID 19 pandemic is especially callous.

International Association of Fire Fighters

FOX21 reached out to the Governor and the Mayor’s office for comment and have not heard back.

However, earlier in the week, Mayor Joh Suthers sent this statement:

“The City of Colorado Springs will, of course, follow the Governor’s Stay at Home Order announced earlier today. Because the physical order will not be available until late tonight, we cannot yet provide further guidance until we know the specifics and exceptions and exemptions that are or are not included.” 

 COLORADO SPRINGS MAYOR JOHN SUTHERS

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