Are lockdowns unconstitutional? Most Americans say no

Jamie BallardData Journalist
April 24, 2020, 12:00 PM UTC

In recent days, groups around the country have organized to protest against lockdown orders put in place by state and local leaders. Some claim that their governors are violating constitutional rights by imposing shelter-in-place orders. YouGov data indicates, however, that most Americans don’t agree with this idea. 

Data from a YouGov poll of more than 9,000 Americans finds that about two-thirds (64%) of US adults believe state lockdowns because of COVID-19 are constitutional. 

Noticeable partisan divides exist around this topic. Close to half (47%) of Republicans believe these lockdowns are unconstitutional, while just about a quarter (26%) of Independents and 10 percent of Democrats say the same. 

About eight in 10 (82%) Democrats in the April 22 - 23 poll say state lockdowns during COVID-19 aren’t unconstitutional. Most (61%) Independents agree, as do 42 percent of Republicans.

Data from an April Yahoo News/YouGov poll finds that 61 percent of Americans say they intend to follow their state’s lockdown orders as long as they remain in effect. 

The same survey also finds that 79 percent are generally inclined to think that shelter-in-place orders are “the only way to stop the spread of COVID-19” -- though the remaining 21 percent tend to say the statement “the cure is worse than the disease” more accurately describes their views. 

Nearly one-third (32%) of Republicans say that “the cure is worse than the disease” is closer to their view on shelter-in-place orders, though 68 percent of this group says otherwise. 

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Image: Getty