People are starting to feel nervous and feel that their freedoms are being severely threatened, all in the name of safety. I see tweets like these:
“It’s NOT a joke. I live in northern California and I DO feel like a prisoner.” or
“I used to joke that Republicans in Blue states were being held hostage -But now with these extended leftist lock-downs, it’s no longer a joke. Businesses are dying, jobs are destroyed, and people are under indefinite house arrest. It’s actually really scary.”
It is scary. Scary enough to warrant a simple, short Constitutional call to action.
Now, remember, the Constitution applies only to the federal government. In other words, it confines the powers of the federal government, but not the state governments.
And if you’ve been paying attention, the federal government has stayed, rightly so, rather hands off during this whole ordeal. We are not following federal stay-at-home orders, but rather, state and local stay-at-home orders.
So, here’s my two-cents. We don’t really want to have to appeal to the federal government to force states to open.
Because if it can force states to open, it can force states to close. And that’s much worse than leaving the choice to each individual state.
So, what should we be doing?
Holding our state governments accountable to their own Constitutions.
What if, instead of blindly demanding that our states give us our “rights” back, we all challenged law enforcement and our local and state politicians to remember the supreme law of the state: the state Constitution. Are the laws they are passing valid according to that? If not, then the state government’s power is arbitrary and we need to remind them of their oath to protect and defend their constitution.
What might happen if we all reminded them about what they swore to protect and uphold?
I live in N.C., so I’ll use my Constitution for an example. Most U.S. state Constitutions emulate the federal Constitution, but with more specificity and more protections in most cases.
For instance, religious liberty.
Our Constitution says, “All persons have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.”
Now, where does the coronavirus fit into “no human authority shall, in any case whatever”?
Well, the simple answer to that is nowhere.
Our Constitution also says, “General warrants, whereby any officer or other person may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of the act committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, whose offense is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are dangerous to liberty and shall not be granted.”
Interesting. How does that translate to a warrant to close an individual’s private business— forcibly closed by the state or local governments?
How about this?
“All political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.”
All political power therefore is not vested in the governor or representatives but in the people.
Further, nowhere in the description of the N.C. governor’s job duties (remember, the Constitutional confinement of power) does it say he has the ability to “shut the state down”.
His powers include and are limited to: information to general assembly; budget; execution of laws; commander and chief; clemency (pardons); extra sessions; appointments; information; administrative reorganization (in the state bureaucracy); and reconvened sessions.
In other words, his power is severely limited. Nowhere is he given the power of a tyrant.
And for the N.C. General Assembly: The Constitution says:
“Limitations on local, private, and special legislation.
Prohibited subjects. The General Assembly shall not enact any local, private, or special act or resolution:
(a) Relating to health, sanitation, and the abatement of nuisances or
(j) Regulating labor, trade, mining, or manufacturing.”
Hmmm, that’s interesting. So where do they get the power to regulate labor, health and sanitation?
Can anyone say arbitrary power?
Our state governments derive all of their power from their state constitutions; anything they do outside of those constitutional confines is arbitrary, and we reject their arbitrary power.
What do our governors, state legislators, and local police swear to uphold and protect?
Our Constitution in N.C. says: “Each member of the General Assembly, before taking his seat, shall take an oath or affirmation that he will support the Constitution and laws of the United States and the Constitution of the State of North Carolina, and will faithfully discharge his duty as a member of the Senate or House of Representatives.”
Our state governments are subject first to the state and federal Constitution.
My simple suggestion to all of you is to educate yourselves on your state’s constitution. Post what your specific state constitution says on all of your social media platforms and ask others to do the same. We need to remind our governments who established them in the first place. They serve We The People, through the confines of the Constitution, and they must be held accountable to those constitutions.
Join me in rejecting arbitrary power and restoring the constitutional oaths. #RejectArbitraryPower
The Liberty Belle