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.