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Some freedoms are not absolute

By Staff | May 12, 2020

To the editor:

As Constitutional conservatives we consider the freedoms in our First, Fourth and Fourteenth amendments as cornerstones of our democracy. We therefore understand the frustrations of the many people, including politicians, who object to the restraints put on freedoms by the COVID-19 restrictions. Over the years, however, the courts have determined that some freedoms are not absolute. For example, the classic Supreme Court ruling in Schenck v. United States in 1919 stated that one cannot falsely cry “fire” in a crowded theater. This principle applies to action as well as to speech and is applicable to the current coronavirus crisis. No individual, whatever their position or status, has the freedom or the moral right to permit or practice any behavior that risks infecting and killing other people.

Robert and JoAnn Hilliard