Spain’s top court rules pandemic lockdown unconstitutional

Coronavirus

People dance during the Cruilla music festival in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, July 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Joan Mateu)

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s Constitutional Court has ruled that last year’s stay-at-home lockdown order by the government under a state of emergency was unconstitutional.

The court ruling on Wednesday was in response to a suit brought by the far-right Vox party.

It was a split decision according to a brief statement issued by the court. State broadcaster TVE says it was six magistrates in favor and five against.

According to the broadcaster, the ruling said that the limitations on movement violated citizens’ basic rights and therefore the state of emergency was insufficient to give them constitutional backing.

With the pandemic raging, Spain’s government declared the state of emergency on March 14, 2020, ordering people off the streets except for basic shopping for several weeks.

It is immediately unclear if the ruling will open the gates for lawsuits against the government.

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