State Watch

Judge rejects ‘right to travel’ challenge to New York’s coronavirus quarantine rules

A federal judge threw out a lawsuit challenging New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) quarantine rules for some out-of-state travelers on Tuesday.

An Arizona woman, Cynthia Page, filed the lawsuit in July arguing that the mandatory 14-day quarantine order in New York infringes on her “fundamental right to travel.”

The public health order interrupted her plans to visit Brooklyn to help friends pack up a house they were planning to sell, which “was and continues to be very upsetting,” according to Page. 

Page claimed that the order was “arbitrary, capricious, and irrational” and likened it to house arrest. 

At the time the suit was filed, Arizona was experiencing a significant surge in July, with the state recording thousands of new coronavirus cases per day. 

U.S. District Judge David Hurd, a Clinton appointee, dismissed her lawsuit, saying in his ruling that people from restricted states remain free to enter New York.

“And whether resident or non-resident, any traveler who completes the quarantine remains completely free to travel freely within the State itself,” Hurd wrote.

Page filed a notice of appeal on Tuesday. Page’s lawyer, David Yerushalmi, told the New York Post that Hurd “has responded out of the fear of the pandemic but has ignored basic constitutional law.”

“We thought the judge’s decision was thoughtful but wrong,” he added.

New York is one of several states to impose quarantine orders on people from other states as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spike in other parts of the country. 

Page’s case was just one of several “frivolous suits filed against the state during this pandemic,” Cuomo spokesperson Richard Azzopardi told the Post.

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