COVID: German Court rules ’emergency brake’ measures legal

Lee Heidhues 11.30.2021

Unlike the United States where the judicial system is consistently turning away attempts to mandate compliance with strict Covid-19 regulatons, the German high court is taking the only correct stand.

Strict laws mandating compliance with Covid-19 rules are the only way to fight the Pandemic.

Regrettably the Courts in the United States have many willing handmaidens in the media. Most prominent amongst the Covid-19 deniers are the Wall Street Journal and Fox News whose editorial stances can be described in one word.

LUDDITE. a person opposed to new technology or ways of working.

Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 11.30.2021

The German government’s “emergency brake” measures have been deemed constitutional by a top court. The restrictions, imposed automatically if infection rates passed certain levels, included school closures and curfews.

While conceding that the measures did infringe on some fundamental rights, they were in line with the constitution “amid the extremely dangerous situation of the pandemic,” the court said.

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The “emergency brake” agreed by the federal government in April proved controversial, as under the current version of the Infection Protection Act, Germany’s 16 states usually enjoy a considerable degree of autonomy with regard to enacting and enforcing pandemic protection measures.

The Constitutional Court is to hand down a ruling at a later date on some 100 individual complaints regarding restrictions on the retail sector, cultural events and hotel industry, among other things.

Restrictions imposed by the German government on the populations of individual federal states to curb the spread of the coronavirus were fundamentally in line with the constitution, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled on Tuesday.

The so-called emergency brake, which was in force in Germany from April to the end of June, obliged states or districts to put in place curfews and other restrictive measures if the seven-day incidence rate per 100,000 people rose above 100 on three consecutive days. The measures included school closures if the rate surpassed 165 on three consecutive days.

The court handed down two rulings on Tuesday, one regarding curfews and contact restrictions, the other regarding school closures. Both rulings dismissed complaints against the measures that had been lodged with the court.

Several of the complaints were made by parliamentarians from the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP), one of the three parties in the incoming coalition government. FDP leader Christian Lindner was among the complainants.

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In its ruling, the court said the restrictions on the number of people allowed to meet up and the curfews from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. were proportionate to the situation.

It said the ban on in-person school attendance did not violate the right to schooling enshrined in the German constitution, with schools implementing online lessons when school closures were ordered. It also cited the fact that the closures were temporary in nature as being conducive to their compatibility with the constitution.