While the federal government cannot force Americans to permanently surrender their rights to assemble and move about the U.S., it is justifiable, at least temporarily, in the event of a national emergency or public health crisis, according to civil liberties expert Alan Dershowitz on Newsmax TV.
"The courts generally support the power of executive authority, as long as it's temporary, as long as there's a sunset provision, as long as it will end when the crisis ends," Dershowitz told Monday's "Greg Kelly Reports."
President Donald Trump has been careful to not impose too many restrictions amid the global coronavirus pandemic, preferring to leave many quarantine orders up to the states.
"Emergencies being used as an excuse to seize power, I don't see that happening yet," Dershowitz added to host Greg Kelly. "But it's a concern and people have to watch out for it."
Dershowitz, perhaps surprisingly to some, did suggest the U.S. can mandate anti-vaxxers to be vaccinated – once a COVID-19 vaccine is publicly made available – because not vaccinating one person can endanger the lives of others.
"There will be some who will refuse to be vaccinated," Dershowitz predicted. "They can be compelled to be vaccinated. I don't believe religious or other objections, if the vaccinations is designed to prevent others getting sick, it can be justified. You're obliged as a citizen of the country to make certain sacrifices, and those include being vaccinated.
"But if it's a public health threat, then I think compromises with civil liberties – as long as they're temporary and as long as they're not life threatening – can be understood."
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