Attorney General William Barr told a crowd at Constitution Day event hosted by Hillsdale College on Wednesday that government-imposed lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic were the "greatest intrusion on civil liberties," besides slavery, in the nation's history.
"You know, putting a national lockdown, stay at home orders, is like house arrest. Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history," Barr said.
He made the comment as part of a response to a question about whether the government is allowed, under the constitution, to halt church meetings because of a pandemic.
Barr was speaking at Hillsdale's Constitution Day celebration, which marks the date the United States constitution was signed in 1787. For months, Barr has pushed against government overreach in responses to the pandemic.
? In April, he urged U.S. attorneys to "be on the lookout for state and local directives that could be violating the constitutional rights and civil liberties of individual citizens."