EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The stay at home order issued by El Paso leaders Tuesday afternoon had many throughout the city asking whether the order was an infringement on their Constitutional Rights.
KTSM reached out to Dr. Todd Curry, Associate Professor of Political Science at UTEP, to help clear up whether the order was within the rights of the City to impose.
“The Constitution of the United States gives police powers directly to the states. This means the states, in essence, have the authority to patrol within their borders almost exclusively,” Dr. Curry said. “So along with the police powers given to the states by the Constitution, there has long been an understanding that states can engage in any sort of police oriented measure — including these sort of stay at home orders – in order to facilitate the health and safety of its citizenry.”
Dr. Curry went on to say El Paso’s orders are not nearly as strict as some orders other states have enacted during the coronavirus pandemic. He did say the $1,000 fine El Paso plans to use in order to enforce the measure is a bit high, but well within their right.
He goes on to encourage El Pasoans to follow local, state and national orders during the stay at home orders. “The safety of all of our families and our nation rests on us flattening the curve,” he said.
Stay at home orders go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday night in El Paso County. New Mexico has been under the stay at home orders since Tuesday morning.