WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congressman Warren Davidson (R-OH) introduced the Defending Freedom Act.

The bill would instruct the Department of Justice to investigate and report on instances of bureaucratic and executive overreach related to forced business closures or stay-at-home orders implemented in response to the novel coronavirus. As states and localities rushed to respond to the pandemic, Americans across the country experienced an abrupt abridgment of civil rights in areas related to speech, the exercise of religion, the right to bear arms, commerce, criminal procedure, and privacy. In fact, most of these unconstitutional orders went into effect unilaterally, without consulting state legislators.

Rep. Davidson’s bill would instruct the Department to pursue civil rights cases against those who inappropriately infringed on the Bill of Rights. Additionally, the bill would give the Department of Justice a year to compile a report on their efforts to combat the unconstitutional actions of state and local governments during this national emergency.

“We’ve seen too many instances of blatantly unconstitutional orders or selectively enforcing executive orders that violate Americans’ God-given freedoms. The Constitution remains the law of the land, even in the midst of a pandemic; elected leaders would do well to remember that. Congress must defend freedom by holding governments accountable for upholding Americans’ rights.”