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Individual Liberty in a Pandemic: Government's Power to Restrict Your Freedoms in a Crisis

A Conversation with Randy Barnett


Capitol and Supreme Court Buildings

Date And Time

This is a virtual meeting, but you must register to receive the link to participate.

In response to the Covid-19 virus pandemic, federal, state and local governments have issued emergency orders restricting freedom of travel, closing some businesses but not others, barring attendance at religious services, restricting access to parks and other facilities, and banning non-essential medical procedures.

What is the legal and constitutional basis for these emergency orders? Are these gross violations of Americans’ civil liberties, or legitimate exercises of government “police powers”? How are these powers distributed across federal, state and local governments? Is it possible that in some places government has gone too far?

Please join the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) on Thursday, April 23 at 2:00 pm Central for a policy discussion hosted on the Zoom platform with noted constitutional scholar and author Randy Barnett.

Randy Barnett is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at Georgetown University, where he teaches constitutional law, contracts, and legal theory. Randy is the author of several books, including The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law, Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty, Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People, and most recently An Introduction to Constitutional Law: 100 Supreme Court Decisions Everyone Should Know.

There is a suggested donation of $20 to participate in the Zoom policy discussion, but all are welcome to attend. You will need to download the Zoom software or app to your computer or portable device in order to participate, but you do not need a Zoom account. Directions and a link to the Zoom meeting will be contained in an email to be sent out on the morning of April 23. You will not be able to participate without the link to the event.