WA Republican lawmakers asking AG Barr to intervene with Inslee’s orders

May 27, 2020, 1:53 PM
jay inslee...

A group of Republican lawmakers sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr asking for the Department of Justice to intervene in what’s going on in Washington state. They argue that Governor Jay Inslee and others are using the coronavirus to violate our constitutional rights. One of the lawmakers who signed the letter, Rep Luanne Van Werven (R-Lynden), joined the Jason Rantz Show to discuss.

“We asked the attorney general to review Governor Inslee’s … contact tracing and also the scheme to isolate and quarantine people as a result of if they had been exposed to someone who tested positive,” she said.

“My concerns (with contact tracing) is that what is starting out as a volunteer effort could quickly become a mandatory effort. … They give the contact tracers names of anybody that they came in contact with, and contact information. So then either a call or visit to our home, and I believe that that is an invasion of our privacy, and we just want to be sure that what the governor is doing does comply with our constitutional rights.”

In a perfect world, how would it work in a way she thinks would be respectful of constitutional rights?

“If somebody comes in contact with somebody you know with tuberculosis or other communicable diseases, it’s usually taken care of at the local health department level and is an appropriate thing to do,” she said.

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“We’re concerned that this is being administered at the state level … we have evidence that the governor has overstepped his authority, and so we are concerned that it it goes from a voluntary process to a mandatory process,” Van Werven added.

Ten state Republican representatives signed on asking AG Barr to take a look at the guidance in the governor’s stay-at-home order. The letter also attacks the phase in approach.

“It is not a viable plan to restart our economy; it is illogical and contradictory,” Van Werven said. “My biggest concern is that it applies a set of rules to religious gatherings that aren’t applied to non-religious gatherings. And churches are not being allowed to open up as quickly as others.”

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Because of the extended nature of the phased in approach with transitions between them weeks apart, Rep Van Werven is concerned it will needlessly worsen the societal damage.

“The longer this goes on, the more damage to our economy, the more damage to the lives and livelihood of so many people in Washington state.”

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WA Republican lawmakers asking AG Barr to intervene with Inslee’s orders