Mayors and governors in some states most affected by the coronavirus have set up systems to allow Americans to discreetly report one another for breaking social distancing rules.
The new policies are coming down across the country in both red and blue states. Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio set up a hotline for residents to snitch on each other in April. Meanwhile, Kansas City, Missouri is requiring churches to turn over membership lists and report anyone who shows up to attend services. Texas has adopted a similar policy as well.
See a restaurant at full capacity? Businesses open that shouldn’t be? Help us save lives. If you see violations of Governor Abbott’s order, please report them at:
— Harris County Judge (@HarrisCoJudge) May 3, 2020
Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel, which is engaged in legal action against these measures, has described these measures as drastically overstepping the authority of the state. (RELATED: Republican Senators Want To Rename Chinese Embassy Street After Chinese COVID-19 Whistleblower)
“I am running out of adjectives to describe how completely insane the tyrannical abuses launched by state governors and local officials against pastors and churches are becoming,” Staver said in a statement to the “Todd Starnes Show.” “It is as if these leaders never bothered to so much as glance at the Constitution they swore to uphold and defend. They seem to be governing from some make-believe, dystopian viewpoint.”
Democratic Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has gone so far as to reward residents who report others for breaking stay-at-home orders or other social distancing guidelines. (RELATED: One Of Trump’s Personal Valets Reportedly Tests Positive For Coronavirus)
“If any non-essential businesses continue to operate in violation of the stay at home order, we’re going to act to enforce the safer at home order and ensure their compliance,” Garcetti said, according to CBS Los Angeles.
“You know the old expression about snitches. Well, in this case, snitches get rewards,” he added. “We want to thank you for turning folks in and making sure we are all safe.” (RELATED: Democratic Witness In House Coronavirus Hearing Pleaded Guilty In 2019 Sex Abuse Case)
U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr has said his Justice Department may join lawsuits against states with overly-strict distancing rules. He has already backed one church’s lawsuit against Virginia after Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam limited the number of people who could attend services.
The DOJ has not released any statements regarding reporting systems, however.