It’s not just European Union countries coming under pressure, even states in this country are starting to see their own clashes.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Saturday that if Rhode Island does not roll back its new policy of stopping vehicles with New York license plates and collecting information about New Yorkers who have entered the Ocean State, he would sue.
“If they uphold that policy, I’m going to sue,” he told CNN Saturday, adding that the two governors would likely work it out “amicably.”
Rhode Island’s governor, Gina Raimondo (D), issued an order Friday enacting new measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
The governor’s measures allow law enforcement officers to stop cars and collect information about motorists should they have a New York license plate, according to a report from Bloomberg. The National Guard will be stationed at Rhode Island’s airport as well as Amtrak and bus stations to question passengers about their travel plans.
The National Guard will then knock on doors in coastal communities to identify people who’ve been to New York state to ensure that they are following a 14-day quarantine.
The policy is ugly, but understandable. Its legality is up there with the legality of the whole shebang. That’s to say, dubious, but not likely to be stopped. Even though, as Governor Cuomo notes, it’s treading on the explosive minefield of interstate commerce.
But there have been precedents.
While New York may be a major vector at the moment, it’s certainly not the only one. Or won’t be one for long. California is waiting in the wings. As are a number of other states. The next logical step becomes quarantining entire regions while, if taken far enough, effectively dissolves the United States.