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Is the COVID-19 Shutdown Legal?

By Maddie Bunting |

“I think there is no doubt that mask requirements, social distancing requirements, and the closure of businesses is going to be enforceable at this time,” said City Attorney Greg Stepanicich, in a podcast episode produced by the UCR School of Public Policy.

In light of protests surrounding the legality of the shutdown in recent months, in the podcast episode Stepanicich explains “police power” and how the government can enforce rules and regulations surrounding public health.

According to his profile, Stepanicich “concentrates on the representation of public agencies in a wide range of government law areas, including land use, elections, local taxation and development fees, telecommunications and community choice aggregation. Working for cities throughout California has given Greg a broad perspective and understanding of the legal needs of a wide range of communities.”

“Interviewing City Attorney, Greg Stepanicich, was an incredible opportunity to learn about what our local government officials are doing to keep our communities safe,” said Maya Prasad, senior public policy major, who interviewed Stepanicich. “Understanding the legality of these unprecedented issues is imperative as we’ll figure out the next steps in combating the pandemic.

Launched in 2020, the UCR School of Public Policy podcast series explores current public policy issues with guests from throughout the policy world. Episodes are accessible via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Anchor. More information is also available through the UCR School of Public Policy podcast page.