Stopping 'Quarantine Camps' in New York State
Imagine a land where the government has the power to lock you up because the unelected bureaucrats in the Health Department think that you might, possibly have a communicable disease. They don’t have to prove you are sick. They don’t have to prove you are a health threat to others. They just need to think that, maybe, you were possibly exposed to a disease. And when I say “lock people up,” I mean lock you in your home or force you from your home into a facility, detention center, camp (pick your noun) that they get to choose and you must stay there for however long they want. No time limit; so it could be for days, weeks, months, or years....
Now imagine that there is no age restriction, so the government can do this to you personally, or to your child, or to your grandchild, or to your elderly parent, or to your ailing grandparent. The nightmare continues because you have no recourse. No chance to prove that you aren’t actually infected with the disease. No chance to confront your jailers, see their supposed evidence against you or challenge their quarantine order in a court of law before getting locked up. And they can use law enforcement to help them carry out their forced quarantine or isolation orders, so the knock on your door could very well be the sheriff or police coming to remove you from your home or to “check in” on you to ensure you are locked down in your home, isolated, in accordance with the Health Department’s order against you.
This dystopian horror sounds unbelievable to an American. That the government has the ability to control one’s every move is unnatural to us. Politicians and bureaucrats being able to have unbridled power to tell you where you can and cannot go, what you can and cannot do, and who you can and cannot see is the very antithesis of what our country stands for. It flies in the face of “liberty and justice for all.” After all, we are supposed to be a nation of governance of the people, by the people, and for the people.
And yet, the governor of New York and her Department of Health have promulgated a dystopian regulation that does all of that and more. The regulation is called “Isolation and Quarantine Procedures” and can be found at 10 NYCRR 2.13. It is a clear violation of the Separation of Powers because the governor is not supposed to make law, nor can an agency. Only the legislature can make law and agencies can only issue regulations that the legislature empowers them to issue. Simply put, an agency cannot just make up rules on its own whim. It must have a directive from the legislature to do so.
Remember from grade-school History class: We have three branches of government (Judicial, Executive and Legislative), all are co-equal with one another, and each has its own separate powers and duties. The governor and her agencies are in the Executive Branch of government. The Executive Branch enforces the laws that the Legislative Branch passes.
Image: In China, which has the power New York’s executive branch granted itself, the government has seized children. Twitter screen grab.
But in this instance, the Executive Branch has usurped the power of the Legislative Branch by making this regulation, which is actually an impermissible law—despite the State calling it a “regulation.” The important fact is that there is no legislative enabling statute authorizing the Department of Health to make this “regulation”—not to mention the fact that the Executive Branch’s “regulation” violates numerous constitutional rights as well as New York State laws.
So, on behalf of a group of New York State Legislators together with Uniting NYS, a citizens’ group, I am suing the Governor of New York and her Department of Health to stop their “quarantine camp” regulation! The NYS Legislators standing with Uniting NYS in this lawsuit are true leaders: Senator George Borrello, Assemblyman Chris Tague, and Assemblyman Mike Lawler. They’re willing to stand up for We the People, and to help preserve the constitutional rights upon which our founding fathers based our great Nation. Additionally, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, Assemblyman Joseph Giglio, and Assemblyman William Barclay are also publicly supporting our lawsuit by writing an Amicus Brief supporting our case.
Our lawsuit is the first and only lawsuit of its kind in the country, and its importance cannot be understated. If this “regulation” is allowed to stand, then it will signal to all agencies that they can make regulations that conflict with the Constitution and with state laws.
If that happens, then the Legislative Branch of government will no longer be a co-equal branch. Instead, it will become subservient to the Executive Branch because the agencies in the Executive Branch could simply make a rule that conflicts with our laws (or the Constitution) whenever they wanted. It would render our laws useless. It would lead to tyranny and it is We The People who suffer under a tyrannical regime.
Think about it: if we don’t win this lawsuit and quarantine camps become a new standard of government control over the people in New York, then it will spread like wildfire across America. Other states will see what New York is doing and they will follow suit. The floodgates will open and, once open, those gates may never close. So, we must win this fight, not just for New Yorkers, but for all Americans!
To find out more about our monumental lawsuit, to sign up for weekly updates, to see how you can help, or to support the lawsuit, go to Uniting NYS’s information page about the lawsuit. We are proud to be on the front lines of this fight against tyranny but we cannot do it alone, so we hope you will get involved and be a part of the movement to return the power to We The People.
Bobbie Anne Flower Cox is an attorney at law in the state of New York.