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  • Writer's pictureNiko Malhotra

Event Recap: Emergency Powers and Civil Liberties During the COVID-19 Pandemic

On October 11th, the Society welcomed Ilya Shapiro, a Vice President at the Cato Institute and Director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies for our first in-person event since the beginning of the pandemic. A prominent legal scholar and expert on constitutional law, Mr. Shapiro provided his expertise to speak on the topic of "Emergency Powers and Civil Liberties During the COVID-19 Pandemic." The event was co-sponsored by the Political Science Department and the Williams Law Society.

Mr. Shapiro discussed the legal implications of many of the restrictions instituted during the COVID-19 lockdowns which infringed upon religious liberty, freedom of speech, and economic liberty. Furthermore, he explored possible constitutional challenges to President Biden's looming federal vaccine mandate soon to be released by OSHA.

Students engaged with Mr. Shapiro in a lively Q&A period and expressed great interest in the ideas he put forth throughout his lecture. The Society is very grateful to Mr. Shapiro for providing his insight and knowledge to Williams students who are frequently unable to hear similar perspectives on campus.



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