Fox’s Napolitano: NJ gym owner defying stay-at-home order ‘an American hero and national treasure’
Judge Andrew Napolitano referred to a New Jersey gym owner as “an American hero and national treasure” on Tuesday after the gym owner refused to comply with stay-at-home orders in the Garden State.
Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court judge, said on “Fox & Friends” that Ian Smith, the owner of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, was right to resist the restrictions.
“The fellow that [Fox & Friends co-host] Steve [Doocy] just interviewed a few minutes ago, Ian Smith, I can say as a former superior court judge in New Jersey, is an American hero and a national treasure,” he said. “We need more people to resist these unlawful incursions into freedom by the governors,” Napolitano told Fox & Friends on Tuesday.”
Smith made national headlines after opening his gym Monday despite stay-at-home order meant to keep gyms closed that was issued by Gov. Phil Murphy (D).
One police officer on the scene informed Smith he was in violation of the order, but told a crowd at the gym to “have a nice day” before exiting without issuing a summons. Chants of “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” followed.
Bellmawr FOR Everybody #SmallBusinessIsEssential pic.twitter.com/PNoMAWgVdo
— Atilis Gym Bellmawr (@TheAtilisGym) May 18, 2020
“All of these lockdown orders are without lawful authority,” Napolitano argued. “They’re unconstitutional, they violate the bill of rights, they interfere with our freedom of religion, our freedom of travel, our right to privacy, our freedom of speech, our freedom of assembly. I could just go right down the line.”
Multiple protests have occurred in states under extended stay-at-home orders, including California, New York and Michigan.
The stay-at-home orders were generally issued first in March amid rising cases and deaths of the novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 90,000 people in the United States.
New Jersey has the second most cases in the nation, with nearly 150,000, according to a database kept by The New York Times. The state has had more than 10,000 deaths.
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