Fox News senior legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said Tuesday the coronavirus crisis is producing “the slow death of civil liberties in the name of public safety.”
When asked about the use of drones to monitor the activities of citizens in order to see if people are violating stay-at-home orders, Napolitano told “Fox & Friends,” “I think it’s an extreme overreach.”
”I was discussing this with our colleague Tucker Carlson last night, and I said then and I repeat now — we are witnessing the slow death of civil liberties in the name of public safety. So when a drone hovers over you, that is surveillance, and surveillance is a search,” Napolitano said.
The judge emphasized that he was not merely providing his legal opinion on the matter but was reflecting the view of the Supreme Court of the United States.
“A search can’t go on without a search warrant. Do we really want to live in a society where a piece of plastic and metal in the sky is going to start yelling at us because we are too close to our neighbors?” he asked.
Napolitano pointed out that Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued extremely restrictive orders, such as making it illegal to purchase a garden hose. Fox News host Tucker Carlson called Whitmer a “mediocre politician” who practices “petty authoritarianism” on his Thursday show.
“A garden house? It’s April. This is the time of year people buy garden hoses,” the judge noted. “So I think that some of the governors who have the authority to regulate for health, safety, and welfare have taken too much of that authority and have taken too much civil liberty away from us. The question is, will we get it back when this is over?”
Napolitano has criticized China’s responsibility for the COVID-19 outbreak and has suggested one way to seek compensation from the economic and military superpower is through class actions suits against Chinese government-controlled companies.
Former Reagan Education Secretary Bill Bennett said Monday that the coronavirus will probably kill fewer people than the seasonal flu but is creating “panic and pandemonium” while devastating the United States economy.