As the world comes to grips with the aftermath of the draconian lockdowns of the sort championed by Dr. Anthony Fauci during the coronavirus pandemic, Spain’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the type of onerous home confinement orders contained in that country’s initial state of emergency was in fact unconstitutional, as Reuters reports.
Implemented by the central government in March of 2020, Spain’s so-called “state of alarm” resulted in virtually all those inside the country being confined to their residences unless to purchase food or medicine and the shuttering of most industries except those deemed essential, according to El Pais, and curtailed many basic civil liberties under the supposed justification of safeguarding public health.
However, by a vote of 6-5, the country’s Constitutional Court found that a lockdown of such a far-reaching nature should have instead come via a “state of emergency” declaration, which would have needed approval in advance from the Congress of Deputies, the government’s lower parliamentary chamber.
El Pais reported that a key element of debate among the judges was the notion that the “state of alarm” did far more than simply limit Spaniards’ right to free assembly and free circulation, it suspended them entirely, and because it was such a comprehensive suppression of rights, parliamentary approval should have been obtained.
Though the full opinion will be released in the coming days, the Court indicated in a statement that certain articles contained in the initial decree limited citizen movement had now been annulled, a fact which may result in the voiding of fines imposed on individuals who breached lockdown orders last year, as Reuters added.
The decision was derided by the country’s coalition government, headed by Socialist Party Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, which said in a statement that while it respects the outcome, officials believe it was “unprecedented” in that the 2020 declaration and subsequent restrictions on citizens were “absolutely essential to save lives.”
The coalition sources added, “The government sustains that without this tool, we would not have arrived in time to stop the virus and it wouldn’t have been possible to maintain the necessary measures to stop its spread for more than a 60-day period.” Representatives of the right-leaning Vox party, however, maintained that the severity of the lockdowns were simply not authorized by the mechanisms utilized last year.
As people around the world continue to pick up the pieces from the closure of businesses, schools, churches, and millions are left to confront the devastating economic, educational, and mental health fallout of authoritarian shutdowns, constitutional challenges similar to the one in Spain are sure to continue apace.
Here at home, the scope of authority ceded to and seized by folks such as Fauci and a host of Democrat governors in response to COVID-19 has set a truly alarming precedent, and it is incumbent upon concerned citizens everywhere to ensure that such actors never again feel entitled or empowered to impose such sweeping limitations on fundamental liberties.