Alan Wilson: municipalities and counties in South Carolina can require masks
Columbia — The South Carolina Attorney General has spoken on the requirement to wear a mask.
Alan Wilson said that the state actually allows for towns, cities and counties to pass ordinances requiring masks when out in public. There’s no laws requiring social distancing in any US state.
He goes on to say that just because a law or ordinance makes bad government, it does not make it unconstitutional government (an example often cited in this instance by Southern state Attorneys General are bans on public nudity, although other states have preempted such bans by prohibiting cities from passing bans on public nudity). He said that if he thought the mask ordinances or any set of other ordinances were in violation of basic rights, he or the state legislature would have stepped in.
He adds, “…the only way to know if someone’s constitutional rights have been violated by these ordinances would be on a case by case basis involving very specific facts. In other words, an otherwise lawful ordinance can be applied in a way that violates someone’s rights. Based on court precedent, simply requiring someone to wear a mask at the grocery store, or stop smoking in a restaurant, or be home before curfew does not constitute a violation of rights. We would need specific facts to make that determination and we do not have those facts at this time.”
He concluded that voting can be utilized as a remedy if the people think that ordinances such as mask requirements or bans on public nudity are bad government.