COVID-mad governors and mayors are totalitarians
The China-Wuhan virus has highlighted the totalitarian nature of the leftist Democratic governors and mayors who have imposed unreasonable restrictions that shut down the economy. It shows why state and local elections are important.
There are numerous examples of the trampling by these leftists of our basic rights protected by the Bill of Rights.
A few of the most recent:
Oregon Democratic governor Kate Brown sent agents from Child Protective Services to the home of Lindsey Graham (not the senator) to question Lindsey and her husband on May 7, the same day she opened her hair salon during the state stay-at-home order. They searched her house, inspected the refrigerator, and questioned her 6-year-old son and want to question her 3-year-old daughter.
On May 18, 2020, Judge Dever ruled Brown's 28-day order invalid because Brown did not obtain the Legislature's approval to extend it. Brown was busy harassing Graham and did not have time to follow the law to extend the order.
AT's Thomas Lifson described how Chicago Democratic mayor Lori Lightfoot took time from getting her hair done to have the police post "No Parking" signs at a church, and had cars towed, to harass a church that dared to open for services.
Tucker Carlson, of Fox News, questioned New Jersey Democratic governor Phil Murphy on April 14, 2020:
The Bill of Rights, as you well know, protects Americans' rights — enshrines their right to practice their religion as they see fit and to congregate together to assemble peacefully, by what authority did you nullify the Bill of Rights in issuing this order? How do you have the power to do that?
That's above my pay grade, Tucker. I wasn't thinking of the Bill of Rights when we did this.
The Bill of Rights is not important for Murphy to consider. Murphy amassed a net worth of several hundred million with Goldman Sachs. Murphy, a multi-millionaire, is trying to force the owner of a gym to close and has issued criminal citations against him.
The worst may be Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, who plans to keep L.A. shut down for at least three months and declared that L.A. may not be fully open until there is a cure for the virus.
The First Amendment states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The Fourth Amendment states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The Supreme Court has held that the First and Fourth Amendments, as well as others, apply to the states and cities under the 14th Amendment in that the 14th Amendment incorporates the Bill of Rights.
The Democratic governors and mayors have ignored the Bill of Rights.
There have been a few court decisions striking down some of the state actions. The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the governor's stay-at-home order.
A Kentucky federal court enjoined the Kentucky Democratic governor "from enforcing the prohibition on mass gatherings with respect to any in-person religious service which adheres to applicable social distancing and hygiene guidelines[.]"
The courts should force the governors to produce compelling, credible evidence to justify the infringement on the Bill of Rights.
It is not enough to describe the effects of the virus to scare people into submission. The question is whether the restrictions that shut down the economy are based on valid, accepted science and whether there is clear evidence that these restrictions will protect us. What is the relationship, if any, between the restrictions and the desired effect? In a trial, a court requires a "reasonable degree of medical certainty" to establish causation. But all we hear from the medical "experts" are words such as "potential-may-could." This is guesswork.
This has to be balanced with the economic effects of the shutdown. These are issues that should be debated and decided by the legislatures, not a governor or mayor with his aides. The governors and mayors have assumed the powers of the legislatures.
The courts presume that a law is constitutional because laws are passed by legislatures, elected by the people, after debate. But these stay-at-home orders are imposed by governors and mayors without the benefit of the legislative process. They do not deserve to be presumed constitutional because the legislatures have not debated and passed these orders.
The courts apply "strict scrutiny" when a law infringes on the Bill of Rights. Strict scrutiny is the highest degree of scrutiny that a court uses when a fundamental right is infringed by a law.
But it takes too much time to challenge these orders in the courts, and you cannot rely on state courts to curb the power of the governors. For example, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision by four Democratic justices, upheld Democratic governor Tom Wolf's order.
Each state must reform its laws that empower governors and mayors to declare emergencies by limiting the number of days of the emergency, such as ten days, and only the Legislature can extend the order.
Democratic governors and mayors cannot be trusted with such power. They do not care about the effect on the economy and people losing their jobs and businesses.
The state legislatures must act.