Thursday, Fox News Channel senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano weighed in on a nationwide mask mandate after Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden suggested he would have the authority to implement one if elected.
Napolitano on “Fox & Friends” said such a mandate is “absolutely” unconstitutional. According to the former New Jersey Superior Court judge, governors and presidents can urge people to wear a mask and lead by example, but they cannot order them to wear one.
“Absolutely not,” Napolitano advised when asked if Biden has the legal authority to order a mask mandate. “Not even a close call.”
He continued, “President Trump knows he can’t do it. I don’t think he would even if he could. There is absolutely no legal authority in the Constitution for the President of the United States to tell you what to wear on your face. There isn’t even a legal authority for the governors to tell you what to wear on your face. The governors can cajole. The governors can coerce. The governors can lead by example. The governors can suggest. The governors can mold opinion. But they can’t order a mask. The president can do the same. He can set an example. He can wear the mask himself. He can talk about the safety aspects, the health aspects of a mask. But the power of law to force a human being to wear a mask at the federal or state level simply does not exist in the United States.”
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