Coronavirus

When Are COVID-19 Control Measures 'Arbitrary' and 'Unreasonable'?

Courts so far have not been inclined to ask that question.

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When he rejected a legal challenge to Michigan's COVID-19 lockdown last week, Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray quoted at length from Jacobson v. Massachusetts, a 1905 decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld mandatory smallpox vaccination. But he left out the part where the justices said state public health powers, while broad, have limits.

We should be discovering those limits at a time when hundreds of millions of Americans have been confined to their homes except for government-approved purposes. But with a few notable exceptions, the courts have not been inclined to scrutinize sweeping COVID-19 control measures that entail unprecedented restrictions on our liberties and livelihoods.

If any state lockdowns were legally vulnerable, the one imposed by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer would be at the top of the list, since it has featured not just broad business closure and stay-at-home orders but seemingly arbitrary distinctions between permitted and prohibited activities. At various points, Whitmer has decreed that residents could not travel between their primary residences and their vacation homes in Michigan; that people could use rowboats but not motorboats; that lawn care companies could not operate even if they followed social distancing guidelines; and that big-box retailers deemed essential could not sell nonessential products such as paint and vegetable seeds.

Rejecting a motion for a preliminary injunction from several business owners, Murray said the relevant question is whether Whitmer's lockdown had a "real or substantial relation to the public health crisis" and was not "beyond all question, a plain, palpable invasion of rights secured by the fundamental law." While "this measure is a severe one" that "greatly restricts each of our liberties to move about as we see fit," he said, "the governor determined that severe measures were necessary, and had to be quickly implemented to prevent the uncontrolled spreading of the virus."

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court took a similar stance when it rejected a lawsuit challenging aspects of that state's lockdown last month. It said business closures do not amount to a "regulatory taking," requiring "just compensation" under the Fifth Amendment.

The justices also said business owners got all the process that was due. Once Gov. Tom Wolf decided certain businesses had to close because they were not "life-sustaining," the court noted, they could ask him to reconsider, albeit through a process that critics described as "utterly ineffective."

These decisions followed a long tradition of giving states wide leeway to protect the public against communicable diseases, epitomized by Jacobson. But even as the Supreme Court approved mandatory vaccination in that case, it recognized that judicial intervention might be appropriate in different circumstances.

The police power "may be exerted in such circumstances, or by regulations so arbitrary and oppressive in particular cases, as to justify the interference of the courts to prevent wrong and oppression," Justice John Marshall Harlan noted. "An acknowledged power of a local community to protect itself against an epidemic threatening the safety of all might be exercised in particular circumstances and in reference to particular persons in such an arbitrary, unreasonable manner, or might go so far beyond what was reasonably required for the safety of the public, as to authorize or compel the courts to interfere for the protection of such persons."

If edicts like Whitmer's do not qualify as "arbitrary" and "unreasonable," what would?

Law professors Lindsay Wiley and Stephen Vladeck, who think most official responses to COVID-19 could withstand judicial scrutiny, argue that courts nevertheless should not abdicate their responsibility to protect civil liberties, especially during an emergency when politicians are inclined to overlook them. "The more that courts coalesce around a standard in which governments are held to exceedingly modest burdens of justification for incursions into our civil liberties during emergencies," they warn, "the more those same governments might be incentivized not only to use emergencies as pretexts for scaling back our rights, but to find pretexts for triggering such emergencies in the first place."

© Copyright 2020 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

NEXT: An Unfortunate Smear of Judge Thomas B. Griffith

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  1. In before Drumpflickers try to blame the governors for the arbitrary and unreasonable restrictions that have been enacted. I don’t want to get into another Symantec argument between orders and suggestions. You know your cult daddy is at fault for none of this!

    1. Would you prefer a McAfee argument?

      1. So you’re saying you’d prefer a pro-Trump argument? Do you dream of licking his taint when you say that?

        1. No. I’m wondering what a Symantec argument is.

          1. Oh well. That wasn’t really working well anyway.

          2. He meant anti Semitic.

            1. He’s anti-symantic too!

            2. So an argument Rob Misek supports?

            3. He meant semantic.

          3. It’s an argument that takes so long to load to that you walk away from the computer and do something else.

    2. So, you wanted everybody to know exactly where you stand. It’s all virtue signaling from here on down, I guess. Lemme guess- you wear a mask when you’re in your own car, alone.
      Just piss off, mamma’s boy.

    3. Using baby names and insults makes it impossible to take you seriously. If you have as serious comment please you adult grammar.

      1. I can’t tell if this is a side case of Joe’s Law, or a reference to a joke I’m just not getting.

        Regardless, feeding the troll gives it what it wants. As an aside, how pathetic do you have to be to get pleasure out of continually trying to troll an Internet backwater like this website’s comments section?

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    4. Folks, this entire event is a setup. The C.A.R.E.S. Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) was introduced in to Congress on January 23, 2019. https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/748

      It was voted upon and passed in the House of Representatives on July 17, 2019.

      It was then voted upon and passed in the Senate on March 25, 2020, with an amendment attached.

      It then went back to the House for “Resolving Differences”, was agreed upon in with the Senate amendment on March 27, 2020.

      It was then signed in to law later that same day ; March 27, 2020.

      Furthermore, on Friday May 1, 2020, House Resolution 6666 was introduced in the House of Representatives. What is H.R. 6666? “To authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award grants to ELIGIBLE ENTITIES to conduct diagnostic testing for COVID-19, AN RELATED ACTIVITIES SUCH AS CONTACT TRACING, through mobile health units and, AS NECESSARY, AT INDIVIDUALS’ RESIDENCES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.”

      The full content of of H.R. 6666 is not yet available. What does that mean? That means the House and Senate are working on how to further F&%K all of us over even more!!

      Everything about the “policies” instituted for this “planned-demic”, the Wuhan Corona Virus (conveniently renamed COVID-19 ; Certificate Of Vaccination IDentification) is “ARBITRARY and UNREASONABLE”!!

      The Wuhan Corona Virus does not even come close to the annual global infection rate of Tuberculosis. The Wuhan Corona Virus does not even come close to the annual global fatality rate of Tuberculosis. Then combine the annual global fatality rate of Tuberculosis, Influenza and, Pneumonia and it comes up to 4,449,000 (that’s 4.49 million) annual fatalities for those three diseases alone. And we’re going to justify putting the population of every country in the world under “house arrest”? AND, summarily shut down seventy to ninety per cent of the global economy?

      Sorry folks! The whole thing smells of a RAT!! And a BIG DEAD ROTTEN one at that!!

    5. “Symantec argument”! LOL!! You’re a fucking idiot. You shouldn’t get into any argument, Symantec or not!

  2. Any action requiring the initiatory use of force is unseasonable. It’s arbitrariness is irrelevant.

    1. Sometimes initiating force is the only reasonable action. When you make your absolutist statements it sounds ridiculous.

      1. No it’s not. It’s always a violation of our natural human right to liberty. Only evil people think differently.

        1. Initiating force in self defense?

          1. At least in Texas, where laws are supposed to favor such, self defense is by definition a response to the initiation of unlawful force.

    2. Would it be better done in summer?

  3. was not “beyond all question, a plain, palpable invasion of rights secured by the fundamental law.”

    That sounds like the opposite of strict scrutiny and a shifting of the burden of proof, but since the Constitution has been stood on its head and the government is now allowed to do anything its not expressly forbidden to do I guess it makes sense.

    1. Welcome to the logical conclusion of civil asset forfeiture and gun control.

  4. Speaking of courts, RBG is in the hospital again

    fingers crossed!! I know we all are hoping for a speedy and full recovery.

    1. That is unkind…

      1. I would agree XY, but in her decisions on that bench, she’s had zero compunctions about sending big guys with guns to take your stuff if she felt someone else had a better use for it. Like Kelo. Or would have no problem enabling with a decision, those same guys to shoot me in the face if I, a law abiding citizen with a house, job, and a clean criminal record, didn’t give up any previously legal weapons she felt the rabble shouldn’t be allowed to own any more.

        She’s done things to hurt people just like you and me, that we neither asked for, nor deserve. Should’ve retired awhile ago and played with her grandkids. She could do it now, but for her dogged commitment to an ideology that is redistributive, authoritarian, and anti-liberty. To Hell with her.

        1. There is much of RBGs judicial philosophy that I do not agree with. I am Ok with that. We need a measure of judicial philosophical diversity on SCOTUS, in my estimation. That said, she is very sharp on business questions.

          There is no ‘but’ about it. We should not wish harm.

          1. We should not wish harm.

            Does wishing or even granting someone of advanced years and failing health a swift and painless death constitute harm? Especially if their own principles dictate such? I remain unconvinced.

            1. Ok…wishing a swift death, painless or not, is not cool either. C’mon now.

              Nice try. 🙂

              1. If people want to sit around indulging in psychic fantasies with zero impact over reality, I say let them.

                Wish all the harm you want.

          2. I have no overt desire for her to die, but she should have retired long ago. She should do so now.

          3. Not when that diversity is from Constitutional rights or in favor of the divination of “emanations of penumbras” by robed tyrants.

    2. I’m going to say. I hope her health does not fail before the election. If she dies before its out, that will be powerful motivation for the democrat base.

      1. Disagree. I think it could be motivating to some but I think the number of people out there who are willing to vote for Biden to get a SCOTUS pick are few.

        Fucking hilarious that the party of diversity who’s been slandering their opponents as the party of old white men finds themselves in this predicament.

    3. Her internal organs must be more plastic and metal than flesh at this point.

      I’m surprised she’s made it this long, frankly. I thought she’d be done around March. Beaten pancreatic cancer, what, twice now?

      “Just the same health care any other government worker would get…”

      1. If she steps down now it will be an epic battle for the progtards to stop Trump from replacing her before the elelction.

        1. They can cry all they want. For now, The Turtle runs things, and if he wants the Senate to vet a replacement Justice before November, they will.

          Cynically, it doesn’t matter if she gets replaced or not. Should Biden or his Sith Apprentice get elected, they also likely will win the Senate back. Think they won’t then expand the Court in 2021 ‘to better reflect the diversity of opinion in the country’? I do. What will stop them? From their point of view, they won on a platform of change, the public voted for them to change things, and this is a quick way to execute those changes.

          All that stops them is decorum, and past practice. Harry Reid started taking a shit on part of that with the Senate rules changes, and the fraud of the Impeachment took care of most of the rest.

    4. HAHA. I saw that.

      All politics aside, she is super selfish to remain at work at her age. She misses a bunch of work and forces all her coworkers to adapt to her medical absences and accommodations.

      It’s bullshit. She and the Democrats fucked up by her not retiring when Obama was in the White House and the Dems controlled the Senate.

      Now Trump will get another SCOTUS pick. Which is fine as Gorsuch is great and Kavanuagh is not horrible.

      1. Was Chief Justice Rehnquist selfish?

        1. Changing the subject…

  5. If any state lockdowns were legally vulnerable, the one imposed by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer would be at the top of the list, since it has featured not just broad business closure and stay-at-home orders but seemingly arbitrary distinctions between permitted and prohibited activities.

    Not to mention the fact that the MI state legislature said she couldn’t extend her lockdown.

    1. This sort of thing got real ugly back in 1775….

      1. But they knew what the second amendment said – – – – – – – –

        1. The second Ammd dates from 1791 — 1775 was the Battles of Lexington, Concord, & Arlington.

      2. Probably will get uglier this time around. Rules of war have changed.

        1. Yup. Most families in the Colonies were never directly impacted by the Revolutionary War unless they wanted to be.

          It was ungentlemanly to pick off officers, to hide among the population, and request help from the French Fleet.

          History tells us that in the last 120 years, when the bloodletting starts there will be many revenge killings. Women wanted “equal rights” and they will get them.

          1. I’m expecting a something similar to the Balkans, with the losers still performing terror attacks after the war a la Chechnyan rebels and ISIS (minus the suicide bit)

  6. I don’t see how any judges could say forced biz closings don’t violate the fifth amendment.

    I guess it makes sense if they are not there to follow the law, but rather to think of “legal” ways to expand government power.

    1. 5th amendment? Houston judges are attempting to force people to make speeches about how the government is right and they are wrong for asking business to be open:

      Andrea Lucia

      @CBS11Andrea
      The judge told Shelley Luther she
      could avoid jail time if she apologized, admitted she was wrong, and agreed to close her hair salon until it was allowed to open.

      Covid trumps the Constitution or something.

      1. Judge Moyé said she must see the errors of her ways and “understand that the society cannot function where one’s own belief in a concept of liberty permits you to flaunt your disdain for the rulings of duly elected officials.”

        1. Judges are elected in Texas… Not that it will do much good, in the uniparty cesspools the major metropolitan areas are slowly beginning to devolve into.

          I’d love to see someone like Randall Kallinen take her case, if she practically has one. (Civil rights litigation lawyer here in town. Handled part of the Tulia, Texas section 1983 litigation, where drug cops threw over two dozen people in prison on the word of one sketchy either cop or informant, who was making the whole thing up.)

          1. I mean, this was the lady who had armed guys outside her salon standing off with the cops, right? Lawyers might not factor into the situation soon.

            1. IIRC, she got popped for civil contempt. 7 days in jail for that doesn’t sound out of line to me, and judges traditionally have a lot of sway in how they get to run their courtroom.

              That said, I don’t think the contempt was for any courtroom conduct, but because she defied the County Judge’s business closure order. Using civil contempt to sanction that out of courtroom conduct strikes me as running afoul of her First Amendment rights, and maybe, though I know judges elsewhere haven’t agreed with that reasoning, a ‘taking’ under the Fifth.

              1. Strikes me as unconstitutional as well.

        2. Because, in the view of America’s contemporary cadre of authoritarian assholes, being a duly elected official sanctifies all subsequent conduct, no matter how overreaching, and shields it from scrutiny.

      2. The story about the dropped case against a “non-essential” business is also big news. Like I said, sue these fucks and they’ll back down. They way they’ve done these shutdowns and lockdowns is plainly unconstitutional and won’t stand up to the slightest amount of legal pushback.

    2. After you are convicted, the presumption is that you are in fact guilty, so I don’t think the 5th really applies. It’s pretty common to require a specific statement as part of a reduced sentence.

      1. There isn’t a conviction here. There hasn’t been a trial.

        1. Has there been an actual criminal trial at all? I thought it’s just been a bunch of preliminary hearings or administrative hearings?

  7. Speaking of arbitrary and unreasonable….Take a look at the People’s Republic of NJ. We are ground zero for a ‘Karen State’. We cannot attend religious services in person, even if socially distanced. We cannot peaceably assemble. We cannot petition for a redress of grievance. All of those things have been suspend by executive order for ‘an indeterminate amount of time’.

    The Legislature (People’s Republic Duma) is perfectly Ok with this. The Courts are conspicuously silent. We have no recourse now, other than the Third Circuit court.

    I would feel differently if the EOs issued by Commissar Murphy were temporary, limited and time-bound. But they are not, and he revels in this.

    “I’m sorry we can’t give you more definitive guidance yet,” Murphy said during his daily coronavirus press briefing in Trenton. “We still have people getting sick, going to the hospitals, and sadly more than 300 we’re reporting (today) have died. So with all due respect, this is the fight of our lives.”

    “We gotta do it right. We’ve got to do it responsibly, we’ve got to do it safely, and we are committed to that … frankly, whether you like that or not.”

    I did not sign up for doing away with my civil liberties on an ad hoc basis, subject to this banana deciding I can have my rights back. Fuck that.

    1. What he said: “So with all due respect, this is the fight of our lives.”
      What he meant: “So with all due respect, this is the fight of our political lives.”
      Fascists gotta be fascists.
      Since you have already yielded your constitutional rights, you need to move or start a recall.

      1. Sadly, we do not have recall in the People’s Republic of NJ. We thought about that when the stunod James Florio was governor, and the NJSC said, “Tough Luck. You’re stuck with the stunod”.

    2. For your own good, leave NJ while you can.

  8. In these “emergency” situations, the legislature disappears and the executives start making whatever edict-laws they want. Obviously the courts need to be more involved.

  9. The courts can find a right to abortion in the constitution they can certainly find a way to stay this.

  10. “When Are COVID-19 Control Measures ‘Arbitrary’ and ‘Unreasonable’?”
    When they are issued.
    One thing this mess has pointed out is that the Dakotas aren’t that bad, politically speaking.
    After a couple more million years of global climate warming change, I might move there.

  11. It is hard to think of something more arbitrary than declaring certain industries to be essential. I guess before all this those non-essential businesses simply existed for fun?

    1. Stop asking questions. Society cannot function when “free” people ask questions.

  12. We should be discovering those limits

    As opposed to “establishing those limits” or “determining those limits”?

  13. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision can be summed up as follows:

    “Governors have infinite discretion, derived from an equally infinite pool of ‘police powers,’ to do anything they want so long as they declare an emergency and really, really make it a point to stress that what their are doing is all about protecting people. And, temporary business closures, provided they are of a limited duration and are not ‘permanent,’ do not amount to a regulatory taking under the Fifth Amendment.”

    So, “it’s an emergency, close your business for 20 years” is fine because (1) it’s an emergency and (2) two decades is technically not permanent.

    Put yet another way: “Fuck you, peon.”

    1. Many Americans dont know much about the Constitution and some have believed the propaganda about the Constitution being an irrelevant document from 231 years ago.

      States dont have Plenary powers. Politicians know this which is why they are toeing the “Martial Law” line to avoid using terms like that.

      Without the US and State Constitutions, the government has no power and all laws are null and void. Remind people of that. All United States federal and state power is derived from the US Constitution.

  14. I wonder if we’ll get an article today about the former US special forces guys that Maduros has claimed to have captured trying to overthrow him. Anyone want to take bets on whether it was CIA or independently backed?

    1. I saw that. It appears to be some knucklehead ex-Green Beret trying to rally revolution and take credit for it. Like that guy who went to Afghanistan looking for Bin Laden with a Samurai sword.

      It might be a false flag to hide the real US operation.

      It also might be the CIA fucking up again like Bay of Pigs and endless other failed operations that the USA should have never been involved in.

      1. I say let Venezuela implode on its own and Maduro is doing a great job on his own.

      2. Not military myself, but I know a good number of guys who are in the services, including a Green Beret medic and a navy seal (college was a private military college, I also know a bunch who are LE). I’m sure there are exceptions, but from what I’ve seen a lot of special forces guys aren’t that gung-ho, they don’t feel like they need to prove themselves and they don’t tend to be stupid either. It might not necessarily be the CIA, but I doubt these guys are down there by themselves unless they have a personal stake in the matter, like one of them has family in Venezuela or something.

        1. ‘Bay of Dregs’ was how I read it described as.

          Let’s not forget there’s a 15 million dollar bounty on Maduro’s head right now, courtesy of the Justice Department. Maybe these clowns thought they could claim it? The story that allegedly the CIA approached them in Jamaica beforehand, informed them that everyone knows what they were trying to do, so knock it off, is the cherry to this sundae of garbage.

          1. What longtobefree said.

      3. No chance at all it has anything to do with a certain 15 million dollar bounty.

    2. Read a story about it a few days ago.
      Doesn’t seem like much went into it.
      Richard Branson’s name was mentioned

      1. lt all began, according to the AP, after April 2019 with what’s colorfully described as a “Star Wars summit of anti-Maduro goofballs”. The report details:

        Planning for the incursion began after an April 30, 2019, barracks revolt by a cadre of soldiers who swore loyalty to Maduro’s would-be replacement, Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader recognized by the U.S. and some 60 other nations as Venezuela’s rightful leader. Contrary to U.S. expectations at the time, key Maduro aides never joined with the opposition and the government quickly quashed the uprising.

        A few weeks later, some soldiers and politicians involved in the failed rebellion retreated to the JW Marriott in Bogota, Colombia. The hotel was a center of intrigue among Venezuelan exiles. For this occasion, conference rooms were reserved for what one participant described as the “Star Wars summit of anti-Maduro goofballs” — military deserters accused of drug trafficking, shady financiers and former Maduro officials seeking redemption.

        Among those angling in the open lobby was Jordan Goudreau, an American citizen and three-time Bronze Star recipient for bravery in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he served as a medic in U.S. Army special forces, according to five people who met with the former soldier.

        Those he interacted with in the U.S. and Colombia described him in interviews alternately as a freedom-loving patriot, a mercenary and a gifted warrior scarred by battle and in way over his head.

        The 43-year old Goudreau soon landed a spot helping to organize security for the February 2019 controversial ‘Live Aid freedom-type’ opposition supporting concert put on by British billionaire Richard Branson, held on the Venezuelan-Colombian border

        http://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/ex-green-beret-was-behind-failed-coup-attempt-against-maduro-funded-us-billionaires

          1. interesting, hadn’t heard that bit yet.

    3. That story gets stupider the more you look at it.

      My money? Either those two guys, one ex-10th Group, are the stupidest motherfuckers to ever make it through SFAS—I want to ask them if they were working for the Ace Tomato Company—or they were hired to conduct training in another neighboring country (hence the Airsoft crap they got caught with) and Maduro’s thugs snatched them. Then there’s their idiot egomaniacal CEO of the contracting company they were ostensibly working for, who was trying to live Tweet the coup attempt.

      The whole story is filled with fuck. Awfully convenient this happened right after the Venezuelan Navy scored an own goal by sinking their own patrol boat when they tried to hijack that cruise liner.

      1. yeah. It’s not like Maduros has ever lied about anything. You could be on to something.

  15. When Are COVID-19 Control Measures ‘Arbitrary’ and ‘Unreasonable’?

    Whenever they’re applied to anyone who doesn’t definitively have COVID or forcibly applied to someone who does have COVID against their will. Next question.

  16. “The more that courts coalesce around a standard in which governments are held to exceedingly modest burdens of justification for incursions into our civil liberties during emergencies,” they warn, “the more those same governments might be incentivized not only to use emergencies as pretexts for scaling back our rights, but to find pretexts for triggering such emergencies in the first place.”

    No. Shit.

  17. Show of hands: how many of you expect the imaginary pandemic health threat will become the permanent reason for any imposition of state control for the rest of time?

    1. I’m waiting for the next bug, behind Door #2. Maybe it’ll be what I believe the Chinese higher ups who investigated that lab, thought the lab might have let out, instead of the overgrown flu bug they actually did?

      Because their reaction went WAYYYYY over the top for a bug that only kills, at the most, 1 in 200 of those it infects, and doesn’t leave the victims crippled for life. Better safe than sorry, I guess.

    2. Without a doubt. I wouldn’t be terribly surprised to see it happen about once a decade from here on out.

  18. Let me see what are we worried about now;

    1) Voter ID, its definitely unconstitutional
    2) Whether some Islamic contract is enforceable , check out Volokh
    3) Whether you can limit abortions during a pandemic

    But just chucking the entire Bill of Rights not an issue

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  20. Aside from nursing homes having the most deaths, (they call heart attacks Chinese virus deaths now) the American economy will be dead by year end. Unemployment isn’t close to peaking. Watch bread lines form by year end as “possibly”, CNN and MSNBC just might report on the national starvations, murders and suicides. But they of course, will blame it all on President Trump.

  21. Lets put it this way. If courts refuse to allow citizens to at least attempt to appeal measures they feel infringe upon their rights then the only avenue left to citizens is armed force. No one wants that.
    That’s why it’s important Courts not abdicate their role in acting as an effective check and balance on the power of the Executive, especially during an emergency

    It was the inability to appeal arbitrary and draconian measures that gave rise to the Revolution from which this nation was formed in the first place.

    I’m not saying that the Courts need to veto every measure but they at least need to allow citizens to argue these cases based upon their merits and force the Executive to defend them based upon their merit instead of refusing to allow the case to be tried.

    1. Absolutely correct. The courts can’t take forever deciding these matters.

  22. Arbitrary?
    How about when initial death rates were expected to be around 5%, then later turn out to be 0.1% or lower, and yet the original restrictions remain in place.
    How about when it is discovered that sunlight kills the virus in 90 seconds, yet people who go to parks and beaches face arrest.
    How about when politicians exercise dictatorial powers not authorized by the Constitution.
    How about when redress from the courts takes forever.

  23. Most of these restrictions are blatantly unconstitutional. “Stay at home” orders are house arrest without benefit of a hearing or any other pretext of due process as guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment. The ban on religious services is a clear violation of the First Amendment Free Exercise of Religion. Additionally, the prohibition of gatherings of people over some arbitrary number (ie 10) is a violation of the First Amendment right to assemble peaceably. Read the constitution. The word ‘except’ does not appear in the First Amendment and no state law can supersede the Constitution.

  24. Unreasonable restrictions:
    Country Deaths/Million Pop. Cases/Million Pop.
    S. Korea 5 211
    N. Zealand 4 309
    Australia 4 270
    USA 224 (44 x S. Korea) 3,767
    Reasonable Restrictions
    Sweden 291 2,368

    1. The #1 comorbidity appears to by hypertension, with obesity barely behind. No wonder USA is having so many deaths.

  25. Who will be the first governor to declare a state of emergency with a shelter-in-place order over climate change (could be easily tied to public health) with an army of scientists and media providing the “legitimacy”?

    The scary thing about these emergency powers laws is that the public has literally _zero_ recourse if their executive chose to abuse them. All they could hope for is to coordinate a recall, wait for the next election or count on a typically inept legislature to pull off an impeachment.

    Throw in a complicit judiciary and you’ve got a completely different form of government all of the sudden.

    1. And this my friends is why the Founders were wise enough to include the 2nd Amendment.

  26. “real or substantial relation to the public health crisis” and was not “beyond all question, a plain, palpable invasion of rights secured by the fundamental law.”

    In other words, they can take our “rights” anytime for anything. Like eminent domain. We are not really that different from totalitarian regimes.

  27. Two things”this twit of a governess has made MANY decisions that have NO foundation in fact, and imposed them upon her subjects. If I can buy a bicket of rooofing tar because my roof leaks, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE< AT THIS POINT< if I also buy a bicket of paint to paint the bare wood trim I had to install when I repaired the roof? NONE

    If i have some open space at my residence, little money ahd there are reports of food shortages, WHY can't I buy some seeds to try and grow my own vegetables to keep from starving? What rational stroke of whiz dumb did she apply to come up with THAT?

    If I have a second home in Michigan, SHE telle me I can't drive to check on it, even when a neighbour reports that vandals have entered and left the place open.. but if my second home is in Illinois, I CAN go check on it? BY what measure of sense does she do this? NONE

    Second, the term "emergency" has specific meanings under law. When an airplane crashes just outside a city and it needs to be dealt with, it is an emergency. When a bridge falls into the river and the highway is closed because of it, that is an emergency. When there has been so much rain there is widespread flooding, that is an emergency.
    An emergenc y is a specific localised time limited event that disrupts life as it usually is, and no not deal with it as a priority is likely to lead to loss of life and/or property. Lead in the drinking water in a city's private water system IS an emergency. Massive pileup on an interstate, hundreds of vehicles involved, interstate closed overnight.. is an emergency.
    A statewide shut down because someone MIGHT catch this virus is NOT.

  28. Remember when Trump “made up” an emergency–because apparently as President he has been granted authority by Congress to do so–then used the emergency powers–again, delegated to him by Congress–to move money around from military construction to the border wall?

    And the left lost their minds?

    Now we have these (mostly) leftist governors and mayors and judges tossing out emergency declarations like they were candy and dropping orders like they are dictators in a martial law situation.

    And the left lost their minds that anyone might dare question the petty “dear leaders”?

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    Not saying we’re at 1776 levels yet. But the long train of abuses and usurpations is growing, and they are invariably pursuing the same Object (socialism and rule by the self-appointed “elite”), and they ARE designed to implement absolute Despotism. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to suffer the sufferable evils for awhile longer.

  29. You think this mayor–do you even have to ask if she’s a Democrat?–didn’t have this detailed plan in a red folder in her top drawer, waiting for a chance to whip it out? Notice that items 1 and 30 render the rest of the list moot–because they provide unlimited power in and of themselves, and that item 18 claims to extend her power out 2 miles beyond the city limits (she should have gone for the full 12 nautical miles)?

    Champaign Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen has issued an executive order that would give her office “extraordinary powers.”

    Here is the list of other items from the declaration/executive order, which also includes the ability to ban the sale of “food, water, fuel, clothing, and/or other commodities, materials, goods, services and resources,” in addition to alcohol and gasoline. Additionally, government agents or officials have the ability to seize private property and to cut off the city water supply.

    “After the declaration of an emergency, the Mayor may in the interest of public safety and welfare make any or all of the following orders and provide the following direction:

    (1) Issue such other orders as are imminently necessary for the protection of life and property.

    (2) Order a general curfew applicable to such geographical areas of the City or to the City as a whole, as the Mayor deems advisable, and applicable during such hours of the day or night as the Mayor deems necessary in the interest of public safety and welfare.

    (3) Order the closing of all retail liquor stores, including taverns and private clubs or portions thereof wherein the consumption of intoxicating liquor and beer is permitted;

    (4) Order the discontinuance of the sale of alcoholic liquor by any wholesaler or retailer;

    (5) Order the discontinuance of selling, distributing, or giving away gasoline or other liquid flammable or combustible products in any container other than a gasoline tank properly affixed to a motor vehicle;

    (6) Order the discontinuance of selling, distributing, dispensing or giving away of explosives or explosive agents, firearms or ammunition of any character whatsoever;

    (7) Order the control, restriction and regulation within the City by rationing, issuing quotas, fixing or freezing prices, allocating the use, sale or distribution of food, fuel, clothing and other commodities, materials, goods or services or the necessities of life;

    (8) (a) Order City employees or agents, on behalf of the City, to take possession of any real or personal property of any person, or to acquire full title or such lesser interest as may be necessary to deal with a disaster or emergency, and to take possession of and for a limited time, occupy and use any real estate to accomplish alleviation of the disaster, or the effects thereof;

    (b) In the event any real or personal property is utilized by the City, the City shall be liable to the owner thereof for the reasonable value of the use or for just compensation as the case may be.

    (9) Order restrictions on ingress or egress to parts of the City to limit the occupancy of any premises;

    (10) To make provision for the availability and use of temporary emergency housing;

    (11) Temporarily suspend, limit, cancel, convene, reschedule, postpone, continue, or relocate all meetings of the City Council, and any City committee, commission, board, authority, or other City body as deemed appropriate by the Mayor.

    (12) Require closing of business establishments.

    (13) Prohibit the sale or distribution within the City of any products which could be employed in a manner which would constitute a danger to public safety.

    (14) Temporarily close any and all streets, alleys, sidewalks, bike paths, public parks or public ways.

    (15) Temporarily suspend or modify, for not more than sixty (60) days, any regulation or ordinance of the City, including, but not limited to, those regarding health, safety, and zoning. This period may be extended upon approval of the City Council.

    (16) Suspend or limit the use of the water resources or other infrastructure.

    (17) Control, restrict, allocate, or regulate the use, sale, production, or distribution of food, water, fuel, clothing, and/or other commodities, materials, goods, services and resources.

    (18) Suspend or limit burning of any items or property with the City limits and up to two (2) miles outside the corporate limits.

    (19) Direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened areas within the City if the mayor deems this action is necessary for the preservation of life, property, or other disaster or emergency mitigation, response or recovery and to prescribe routes, modes of transportation and destination in connection with an evacuation.

    (21) Approve application for local, state, or federal assistance.

    (22) Establish and control routes of transportation, ingress or egress.

    (23) Control ingress and egress from any designated disaster or emergency area or home, building or structures located therein.

    (24) Approve the transfer the direction, personnel, or functions of City departments and agencies for the purpose of performing or facilitating emergency or disaster services.

    (25) Accept services, gifts, grants, loans, equipment, supplies, and/or materials whether from private, nonprofit, or governmental sources.

    (26) Require the continuation, termination, disconnection, or suspension of natural gas, electrical power, water, sewer, communication or other public utilities or infrastructure.

    (27) Close or cancel the use of any municipally owned or operated building or other public facility.

    (28) Declare, issue, enforce, modify and terminate orders for quarantine and isolation of persons or animals posing a threat to the public, not conflicting with the directions of the Health Officer of the community.

    (29) Exercise such powers and functions in light of the exigencies of emergency or disaster including the waiving of compliance with any time consuming procedures and formalities, including notices, as may be prescribed by law.

    (30) Issue any and all such other orders or undertake such other functions and activities as the Mayor reasonably believes is required to protect the health, safety, and welfare of persons or property within the City or otherwise preserve the public peace or abate, clean up, or mitigate the effects of any emergency or disaster.

  30. The rulers issue laws based on the initiation of violence, threats, fraud. No such system, no such laws, can be moral, practical, or reasonable. It creates chaos, disorder, i.e., “law & order” is a contradictory term.
    A voluntary political system would support rights, be reasonable, and establish a sustainable society, should one ever be established.

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