ARIZONA NEWS

ASU professor says public health protection trumps civil liberties

Jun 29, 2020, 4:15 AM
Supporters and members of Patriot Prayer and Peoples Rights Washington rally against the Washington...
Supporters and members of Patriot Prayer and Peoples Rights Washington rally against the Washington state mask mandate outside Vancouver City Hall on June 26, 2020 in Vancouver, Washington. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — In a legal battle between protecting public health and free speech, one Arizona State University professor thinks the former would win.

Some have argued and protested against mandates enforcing masks in public, that they violate the First Amendment and civil liberties.

“These claims are baseless,” said James Hodge, director of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law’s Center for Public Health Law and Policy.

He adds the government must protect people by limiting COVID-19’s spread.

“The government has sufficient, compelling interest to limit the spread of a disease like COVID-19 that does kill hundreds of thousands of Americans, and will continue to do so absent intervention,” Hodge argued, even if it means shuttering the economy — which cost livelihoods the first time Gov. Doug Ducey (R-Ariz.) did that in the spring.

“You could either close it down again to assure social distancing, or perhaps we can find a balance of a reopened economy with Americans wearing masks,” Hodge said.

The CDC’s guidance this month says masks — cloth or surgical — can stop COVID-19’s spread.

Arizona health leaders will need another week to assess that after municipalities mandated masks a week ago.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Lincoln Ventures, an Austin-based housing developer, broke ground on a new 24-story apartmebt build...
KTAR.com

Groundbreaking held for 24-story downtown Phoenix apartment tower

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday for a 24-story downtown Phoenix apartment building that is projected to be open by 2023.
21 hours ago
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)...
Torrence Dunham

Tucson votes to terminate city employees who aren’t vaccinated against COVID by Dec. 1

The Tucson City Council voted Tuesday afternoon to terminate city employees who aren't vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 1.
21 hours ago
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

US Labor Department warns Arizona, 2 other GOP states over COVID rules

The Biden administration threatened Tuesday to revoke the authority for Arizona and two other Republican-controlled states to handle their own workplace safety enforcement because they have refused to adopt rules to protect health care workers from COVID-19.
21 hours ago
TAMPA, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 07: The Weeknd performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show at R...
KTAR.com

The Weeknd cancels tour with 2 Valley stops, teases stadium tour

Pop sensation The Weeknd on Monday announced the upcoming 2022 tour that had two stops in the Valley has been canceled, teasing a stadium tour that would commence next summer instead.
21 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Verde Valley Fire District)...
KTAR.com

Arizona firefighter-paramedic dies of COVID-19 complications

Tyrone Bell, an Arizona firefighter/paramedic, died Monday from COVID-19 complications, the Verde Valley Fire District announced.
21 hours ago
(Facebook Screenshot/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)...
Associated Press

MCSO Deputy Juan Ruiz remembered for achieving his dream

A Maricopa County sheriff’s deputy who died after being beaten by a suspect was remembered Tuesday as man who lived his dream to protect and serve.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
...
PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
...
BARROW NEUROLOGICAL INSTITUTE

More stroke patients eligible for acute treatment, thanks to research

Historically, patients underwent acute stroke treatments according to strict time guidelines. But thanks to recent advancements in stroke research, more patients are becoming candidates for clot-busting drugs and endovascular therapy at specialized centers like Barrow Neurological Institute.
ASU professor says public health protection trumps civil liberties