The nurse at the center of the national debate over mandatory Ebola quarantines, Kaci Hickox, threatened to sue the state of New Jersey over her forced confinement before officials decided to release her.

On The Kelly File tonight, Megyn Kelly and Judge Andrew Napolitano disagreed on the legality of local officials locking people up if they think they pose a threat to public safety, in this case people returning to the U.S. from Ebola-affected West African countries.


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According to Judge Nap, a person is presumed to be at liberty and for them to be involuntarily detained, the government has to prove something about them, not the group to which they belong, such as travelers returning from West Africa.

“We don’t have group guilt in America. We don’t have group punishment in America,” Judge Nap explained.

Megyn countered that this isn't an attack on a group, but individuals who meet very specific criteria.

In Hickox's case, not only was she was working with Ebola patients in West Africa, but she showed a fever at the airport.

Judge Nap said that when a person challenges their detainment, the burden of proof falls on the government, which, in this case, did not have any evidence with which to keep Hickox confined once she challenged the quarantine.


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"Why can't they say to incoming healthcare workers ... 'For three weeks, you can't go out in the general public. We're sorry,'" Megyn asked.

Judge Nap said that would be legal if the government had notified those healthcare workers before they left the country, as that would be them waiving their right to be free.

"Notice is part of fairness and due process," Judge Nap said. "The government has known about this Ebola problem since March."

Watch the clip above and let us know what you think about mandatory quarantines in the comments.


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