Albany, New York, December 29, 2020: Assemblyperson N. Nick Perry (AD-58), recently proposed bill A416, currently in committee for presubmission to the Assembly for the 2021 session, which relates to the “removal of cases, contacts and carriers of communicable diseases who are potentially dangerous to the public health.”
As written, the bill states, “(u)pon determining by clear and convincing evidence that the health of others is or may be endangered by a case, contact or carrier, or suspected case, contact or carrier of a contagious disease that, in the opinion of the governor… may pose an imminent and significant threat to the public health resulting in severe morbidity or high mortality, the governor or his or her delegee…may order the removal and/or detention of such a person or of a group of such persons by issuing a single order, identifying such persons either by name or by a reasonably specific description of the individuals or group being detained.” The bill goes on to specify no specific timeframe, location or criteria for the termination of this detention, instead leaving that to the discretion of the governor..
The Libertarian Party of New York stands opposed to these mandates. Cody Anderson, chair of the Libertarian Party of New York, called on all New York State assemblypeople and senators to reject bill A416.
“Let’s put aside for a moment the egregious privacy violation in issuing an order announcing an individual to be a health risk,” Anderson stated. “This bill offers a clear and direct path to unconstitutional and indefinite detainment, on the governor’s sole authority. No US state was ever meant to have a single person acting as judge and jury, without checks or balances; if this bill is allowed to pass, that is exactly what New York will have.”
“We once again demand that legislative leaders be principled when they claim “My body, my choice” – they must not pick and choose.”
1st Vice Chair
Libertarian Party of New York