A federal judge on Tuesday upheld a New York order requiring out-of-state travelers to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival in the state.
This lawsuit originated in response to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order. Plaintiffs in the suit argued that this order encroached on the fundamental liberty of citizens’ ability to travel freely between states. More specifically, plaintiffs argued that the order was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause because there was no compelling governmental interest in the imposition of a fourteen-day self-quarantine.
The suit argued:
Executive Order 205 and its implementing guidance and regulations discriminate against individuals because they reside in or travel from certain “restricted” States. This disparate treatment is arbitrary and capricious, and it has no rational basis, particularly since a perfectly healthy person from one of the “restricted” States is prohibited from traveling to New York but a person with COVID-19 from a State that is not “restricted” can travel to and throughout New York with impunity. This disparate treatment violates the equal protection guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Judge David Hurd’s order states that plaintiffs have failed to offer compelling arguments as to how the executive order violated their Equal Protection Rights. While there is no constitutional right to travel freely, the executive order did not limit this ability. Rather, it required travelers to self-quarantine upon arrival in New York. As a result, Hurd dismissed this case.
The plaintiffs intend to appeal Hurd’s decision.