Last week, we slammed Attorney General Barr for suggesting that the DoJ might join lawsuits against states that fail to reopen fast enough. President Trump stumbled into an amazing opportunity to wash his hands of the fallout from the outbreak by delegating to the states, a politically savvy move that would allow the president to escape blame for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who will continue to succumb to the virus.
Just like Trump's tweets calling on governors to "LIBERATE" blue states from their lockdowns, Barr's comment represented an unnecessary intrusion of the federal government into the business of reopening the country, something that Trump had explicitly left to the states.
But now, as more American question the necessity of the ongoing lockdowns, Barr has published a memo directing federal prosecutors to look into state directives that could be violating constitutional rights and civil liberties."
Of course, since the Constitution protects individual liberty as sacrosanct, we suspect that every state that has been strictly enforcing its lockdown measures with strict fines - something that California Gov Gavin Newsom has threatened to do if residents continue to flout social distancing guidelines at the beach.
In the memo, Barr says "I am directing each of our United States Attorneys to also be on the lookout for state and local directives that could be violating the constitutional rights and civil liberties of individual citizens."
Of course, now that New York, the hardest hit state in the country, has said it plans to start reopening parts of the state on May 15, it's going to be increasingly difficult - politically speaking - for governors to drag their feet on releasing their strategies, including specific dates, for much longer.
Read the full memo below: