Review: Judge upholds New Hampshire governor’s emergency power to ban large gatherings

This article discusses a New Hampshire court decision that found the governor’s emergency powers permit banning gatherings of more than 50 people, even if such actions infringe on people’s speech, assembly, and religious rights.

The New Hampshire governor’s Emergency Order banning gatherings of more than 50 people was challenged by a group of citizens claiming such a rule violated their Constitutional rights. A Superior Court judge dismissed the lawsuit, declaring that:

  • There was “overwhelming factual and legal support in the governor’s action in declaring a state of emergency”;
  • This is “an extraordinary public health crisis and the danger to the citizens of New Hampshire, the country and the world is real and it is imminent”;
  • There can be “no more critical public objective than protecting the citizens of this state and this country from becoming sick and dying from this pandemic”; and
  • The emergency restrictions were a “narrowly tailored” response that took into consideration the interests that were being infringed.
|2020-04-01T13:54:00-04:00April 1st, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|Comments Off on Review: Judge upholds New Hampshire governor’s emergency power to ban large gatherings

About the Author: Ross Silverman

Ross Silverman
Ross D. Silverman, JD, MPH, is Professor of Health Policy and Management at Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health and Professor of Public Health and Law at Indiana University McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. He is a member of the IU Centers on Health Policy and Bioethics. His research focuses on public health and medical law, policy, and ethics, and law's impact on health outcomes and vulnerable populations. He also serves as Associate Editor on Legal Epidemiology for Public Health Reports, the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service. His most recent Covid-19 publications include: "Ensuring Uptake of Vaccines Against SARS-CoV-2" in the New England Journal of Medicine (with MM Mello & SB Omer), and "Covid-19: control measures must be equitable and inclusive" in BMJ (with ZD Berger, NG Evans & AL Phelan)

Get Involved with Indiana CTSI