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Why fuller scrutiny of the Covid-19 legislation is essential—not just a “nice to have”

The health of the people requires good law

By George Peretz  

Maintaining constitutional principles during a pandemic might be regarded as the obsession of lawyers and other cranks. After all, didn’t Cicero—no mean lawyer himself—say that salus populi suprema lex (a phrase that might well be translated as “the health of the people is the supreme law”)?

That reaction is understandable, but—even on its own terms—dangerous. In the end, law works because most people accept its moral authority as a regulator of what they should and should not do and as the basis for enforcement action by the state. That moral authority…

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