Federalism and the Coronavirus Lockdown

President Trump no longer hopes to see lockdown restrictions relaxed and many businesses reopened by Easter—April 30 now looks like the target date—but it isn’t his call. Public-health merits aside, the president can’t legally order the nation back to work. The lockdown and closure orders were issued by state governments, and the president doesn’t have the power to order them to reverse their policies.

In America’s constitutional design, while federal law is supreme, the national government is confined to enumerated powers….

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