Attorney General James’ Statement in Response to Attorney General Barr’s Threat to “Monitor” States Over Coronavirus Response

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James tonight released the following statement after U.S. Attorney General William Barr released a memo threatening to “monitor” and be “on the lookout for state and local directives that could be violating the constitutional rights and civil liberties of individual citizens” due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19):

“Despite the Trump Administration’s failure to do so, states are able to protect constitutional rights and enact policies to curb the spread of the coronavirus simultaneously. The Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is clear that ‘the powers not delegated to the’ federal government shall be ‘reserved to the States.’ Make no mistake: U.S. Attorney General Barr is not the only one prepared to take legal action to guard the Constitution. My office will fight every day to defend it and the rights it affords the great State of New York.”