Legal Issues Related to the COVID-19 Outbreak: An Overview

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Updated June 12, 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak rapidly shifted the congressional agenda, while altering the daily lives of millions of American residents. Alongside the many medical, economic, social, and public policy questions raised by the pandemic are a range of legal issues. These include both short-term legal questions related to the unfolding outbreak as well as longer-term legal issues that are anticipated to persist in the wake of the crisis. Among the most immediate questions were those related to the scope of state and federal authorities concerning quarantine measures, travel and entry restrictions, the movement of medical goods, health care coverage, and the like. Of more ongoing concern may be legal issues ranging from those related to the development of vaccines, testing, treatments, and other medical countermeasures, to postponing national elections, to civil liability for COVID-19 exposure, to criminal actions related to hoarding and price gouging, to providing economic assistance to individuals and businesses, to foreclosure, eviction, and debt collection moratoria.

This Legal Sidebar provides a list of legal resources discussing these and other legal topics related to the
COVID-19 pandemic. It will be updated intermittently as additional legal issues emerge.

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