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Governor Gavin Newsom said during a press conference on Tuesday he would consider implementing martial law if it was necessary to curb the novel virus.
“We have the ability to do martial law ... if we feel the necessity,” he said.
Issuing martial law would be an unprecedented move rarely used by officials in US history. If enacted, it would temporarily replace civil rule with military authority.
The precedent for martial law in the US states “certain civil liberties may be suspended, such as the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, freedom of association, and freedom of movement,” according to a legal journal.