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Court rules Connecticut's governor and public health commissioner have broad authority to force residents into involuntary medical quarantines

A court has ruled that Connecticut’s governor and public health commissioner have broad authority to force residents into involuntary medical quarantines | 14 Aug 2020 | In a case that invites uncomfortable comparisons to the ongoing pandemic, a court ruled Friday that Connecticut's governor and public health commissioner have broad authority to force residents into involuntary medical quarantines -- even if the residents have had no conclusive exposure to a contagion and show no symptoms of infection. The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit came in a federal suit by two groups of West African residents of Connecticut who were ordered into 21-day quarantines -- enforced by police guards -- after arriving in the state from West Africa weeks after a regional Ebola outbreak in Africa was declared a health emergency in 2014. The West Africans -- two university doctoral candidates in public health and a family of six immigrants -- argued in their suit that the quarantine orders by the administration of then-Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D) were unconstitutionally excessive and far more restrictive than the Ebola travel and health guidance issued at the time by federal health and public safety officials. A federal district court dismissed the suit against the state and the appeals court agreed Friday concluding, among other things, that the state quarantine laws do not violate clearly established constitutional rights.