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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he wants the U.S. economy to reopen by Easter Sunday, April 12, despite the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus in some U.S. states and a rising death toll from the disease.
Legal experts say a U.S. president has quite limited power to order citizens back to their places of employment, or cities to reopen government buildings, transportation, or local businesses. Here is why.
The United States is a federalist system, meaning power is shared between a national and state governments.
Under the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, state governments have power to police citizens and regulate public welfare. In the country’s early years, it was up to state and local authorities to lead the response to the yellow fever epidemic, not the federal government.
Reflecting these principles, “disaster response and aid is typically state-led and federally supported,” said Steve Bunnell, the former top lawyer at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and a partner at O’Melveny & Myers.
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COMMENTS VIA TWITTER
@dbongino This is politics. Let’s ruin the economy to get at Trump. Americans are expendable as long as we regain power. Restart the economy
#stayathome Trump said he wants the U.S. economy to reopen by Easter Sunday, April 12, despite the rapid spread of… https://t.co/oT5HM1cRNI
What matters is what Trump actually does, within the limits of his power, to help stop this virus, prevent a panic,… https://t.co/A6SJ2WNFM5
Explainer: Trump has little power to restart U.S. economy https://t.co/08CQ628Ygt
@Babatee07 @StockMarket5577 @CNNnewsroom @jimsciutto Good news is he does not have the power to restart the economy… https://t.co/vuHHsiY1en