“This Country’s Fabric Is Being Torn Apart” | Exclusive Interview With L. Lin Wood | Crossroads

Attorney L. Lin Wood sits down for an exclusive interview with Joshua Philipp on the 2020 US presidential elections, the possibility of martial law, the Georgia Senate runoff, China’s infiltration of America, and why he fights for the truth.

Source: YouTube

The Simple Case Against the Newsom Autocracy | Kevin Kiley, California State Legislator

Governor Newsom has exceeded his constitutional authority during the lockdowns.

When the Michigan Supreme Court struck down that state’s Emergency Powers of the Governor Act as unconstitutional, it adopted the very arguments we are making in our case against Gov. Newsom.

So we took the opportunity to file this two-page summary of our legal argument with the Court.

In short, Newsom now faces a “heads you win, tails I lose scenario.” If the Court agrees with our statutory arguments, Newsom will be found to have overstepped the Emergency Services Act and violated the Constitution. On the other hand, if the Court buys his statutory arguments, the entire Act must be found unconstitutional.

Reading the Michigan Court’s opinion was a surreal experience since it so closely resembles our own briefing to the California Court. In fact, the Michigan Supreme Court uses the exact quote from the Federalist Papers with which we began our dispositive brief:

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

(Recall that Newsom has actually argued the Emergency Services Act “centralizes” all of the “the State’s powers in the hands of the Governor.”)

The other similarities are striking:

  • Our Brief: no statute can “give the Executive Branch a roving authority to create any and all new laws in any California code.”
  • Michigan Decision: no statute can “confer upon the governor a roving commission to repeal or amend unspecified provisions anywhere in the entire body of state law.”

Another example:

  • Our Brief: “a statute that gives the Governor ‘discretion as to what the law shall be’ amounts to an unlawful delegation.”
  • Michigan Decision: the statute “is an unlawful delegation of legislative power to the executive branch in violation of the Constitution.”

Most importantly, the Separation-of-Powers provision of Michigan’s Constitution is almost identical, word for word, to the one in California’s Constitution.

The trial is one week from today.

Source: Kevin Kiley, California State Legislator

Judge Rules Pennsylvania Governor’s Shutdown Orders Unconstitutional | The Epoch Times

A federal judge has struck down Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s CCP virus restrictions that required people to stay at home, put limits on gatherings, and ordered “non-life-sustaining” businesses to stay shut down.

U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV on Sept. 14 sided with plaintiffs that included drive-in movie theaters, hair salons, farmers markets, and several GOP officials who sued as individuals. Butler, Greene, Fayette, and Washington counties were also listed as plaintiffs.

Stickman’s judgment stipulates that “the congregate gathering limits imposed by defendants’ mitigation orders violate the right of assembly enshrined in the First Amendment,” the “stay-at-home and business closure components of defendants’ orders violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” and “the business closure components of Defendants’ orders violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

The judge, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, argued that the actions taken by Wolf and Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine, who are both Democrats, “were undertaken with the good intention of addressing a public health emergency,” but that “even in an emergency, the authority of government is not unfettered.”

“The liberties protected by the Constitution are not fair-weather freedoms—in place when times are good but able to be cast aside in times of trouble,” Stickman said. “There is no question that this country has faced, and will face, emergencies of every sort.”

Stickman added that the solution to the crisis “can never be permitted to supersede the commitment to individual liberty that stands as the foundation of the American experiment.”

Furthermore, he said, the Constitution “cannot accept the concept of a ‘new normal’ where the basic liberties of the people can be subordinated to open-ended emergency mitigation measures.”

Wolf has lifted a number of restrictions since the lawsuit was filed several months ago, allowing businesses to open again and canceling the statewide stay-at-home order. Pennsylvania also has a gathering limit of 25 people for events indoors and 250 for events outside.

Pennsylvania has reported that more than 145,000 people have contracted the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus since the beginning of the pandemic, while more than 7,800 have died.

Wolf’s spokesperson told The Associated Press that his office is reviewing the judge’s decision.

“It’s a complete and total victory for the counties, the businesses and the representatives,” said attorney Thomas W. King III, who represented the plaintiffs, as reported by Triblive. “You can’t order the entire population of Pennsylvania to stay at home.”

Source: The Epoch Times

Ohio Stands Up! files lawsuit to remove DeWine’s COVID-19 emergency order | Richland Source

An Ohio citizens group has filed a lawsuit in federal court to remove Gov. Mike DeWine’s emergency health order, which was signed on March 9 and remains in place today.

Ohio Stands Up! describes itself as a grassroots organization composed of Ohio citizens focused on restoring the rights of Ohio’s 11.69 million residents and educating the public about the realities of COVID-19 data. Download PDF

Ohio Stands Up! said it has filed suit in the Northern District of Ohio Federal Court in Toledo to remove DeWine’s emergency order. The group is represented by attorneys Thomas Renz of Fremont and Robert Gargasz of Lorain.

DeWine was asked about the lawsuit during a press conference Tuesday.

“I’ve been sued many times. [The Ohio Department of] Health has been sued many many times. They have been in many different counties,” he said.

“We’re doing what we know will make a difference. We’ve been very thoughtful of what we’ve done,” he said. “None of these decisions are made in a vacuum…I just have to stay focused on what we need to do in Ohio.”

According to the Ohio Department of Health website on Tuesday, there have been 124,610 positive COVID-19 tests since the pandemic began with 4,165 deaths.

Organizers said the lawsuit is solely funded by donations from Ohio citizens. As of Aug. 30, donations reached $34,055. For more information, visit www.ohiostandsup.org.

“We believe that the response to COVID-19 has been the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the American public,” Renz said in an email press release.

“The objective of this legal action is to force the state to honor the Constitution and to stop the lies, manipulation and fear-mongering intentionally being promoted by public health officials and elected officials.”

The attorneys said they are determined to “restore the Constitutional rights that have been stripped away by the State of Ohio’s unjustified actions regarding COVID-19.”

Renz and Gargasz said they will release the extensive evidence that chronicles the case to the public to offer transparency and insight.

“The State of Ohio has consistently lied to and manipulated its citizens from the earliest stages of this pandemic,” Gargasz explained. “We insist that this nonsense end, our rights be restored, and that the actual truth be shared.”

Recently, the CDC confirmed that 94 percent of the deaths attributed to the coronavirus were from people who had as many as two to three other serious illnesses. The majority of those deaths are individuals 75 and older. Six percent of the deaths are directly from COVID-19, according to the CDC.

“The entire U.S. economy was shut down based on fraudulent models that predicted 2.2 million American deaths,” Renz said. “The State of Ohio violated the U.S. Constitution with an emergency declaration that ignores the fundamental rights of all Ohioans. As a result, millions of Ohioans are suffering financially, physically, and mentally.”

Renz and Gargasz stated that:

 Hundreds of thousands of businesses are struggling, and many will never re-open.

 Drug overdoses and suicides have increased as have domestic violence and child abuse cases – directly as a result of the unconstitutional emergency order.

 Many Ohioans were unable to get treatment for conditions not related to COVID-19 because hospitals were closed to accommodate the rush of COVID-19 patients who never arrived.

 Children are struggling emotionally as many are forced into the continued isolation of remote learning while two income households must find solutions to manage young children at home.

 Masks are dangerous, prevent proper breathing, and provide no real protection against this virus, according to multiple studies.

 Families have been barred from seeing their loved ones in hospitals and long-term care facilities, and residents in long-term care facilities have suffered because of the lack of inperson communication from their loved one.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

 People living alone, of all ages, have been forced into solitary confinement and are dying at tremendously increased rates due to loneliness and lack of self-care.

Gargasz said a rapidly growing number of Ohioans recognize this and understand that, if they don’t stand up and speak out, it could be too late because a precedent has been set.

“There is zero basis for a state of emergency,” Renz said. “Based on what we know about the consequences the emergency order has caused to the physical, financial, and mental well-being of Ohioans, and the vitality of Ohio communities, this is truly a crime against humanity, and it must not be allowed to continue.”

Source: Richland Source

Public Health Legal Authorities to Collect, Use, Share, and Protect Information | ASTHO

FlaginSunlightOverview

Public health agencies need to collect, use, and share information to prevent disease and injury and protect the public against natural, accidental, and intentional health threats. Various federal and state laws may impact public health activities regarding such information.

Public health agencies may collect and maintain information that identifies an individual or is sensitive in nature, such as information about communications systems or detailed emergency response plans. In these situations, freedom of information (FOI) laws establish parameters for information that must be shared, upon request, and that which may be exempted from public disclosure. In applying the laws, public health agencies may need to juggle competing interests and balance individual privacy against the need to protect or inform the public.

Public health agencies face additional challenges when sharing information with law enforcement, especially when conducting a joint investigation where a public health threat may involve criminal activity. (See ASTHO Public Health Collection, Use, Sharing and Protection of Information Issue Brief  and Authorities and Limitations in Sharing Information Between Public Health Agencies and Law Enforcement Issue Brieffor detailed analyses of issues and law.) (Download a printable PDF.)

Constitutional Considerations

Generally, state and local public health agencies have broad and flexible authority to protect the public health. However, the exercise of governmental power has limits. The United States Constitution contains a Bill of Rights1 that sets out individual liberties and protects individuals from the arbitrary use of governmental power. These rights may impact public health collection and sharing of information.

Right to Privacy
The Constitution provides a limited right to privacy, including “informational privacy.”2 State laws that require reporting of or public health agency access to identifiable information are permissible when they are reasonably directed to the preservation of health and properly respect a patient’s confidentiality and privacy.3

Right Against Unreasonable Search and Seizure
With the owner’s permission,4 public health agencies may enter or search the premises of an individual or business, take biological specimens or environmental samples for testing, copy records, and remove evidence that might be relevant to a public health concern. However, absent consent or the applicability of another exception, public health agencies must comply with requirements in the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment.

The Fourth Amendment requires that a warrant be obtained, based upon probable cause, to search someone’s premises or seize their property. The Fourth Amendment applies to both criminal investigations and health and safety inspections and investigations.5 In addition to consent, other exceptions to the warrant and probable cause requirement might apply to public health inspections and investigations, including searches of pervasively regulated businesses,6searches of premises or items open to the public,7 and searches based on exigent circumstances if delay is likely to lead to injury, public harm, or the destruction of evidence.8

Right Against Self-Incrimination
The Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination prevents the government from forcing an individual to be a witness against himself or herself during trial or a custodial interrogation. If an individual is not informed of his or her right against self-incrimination, the individual’s statements and evidence obtained as a result of these statements may be suppressed in criminal proceedings. This right may arise when a public health incident involves criminal activity, especially when law enforcement and public health investigators are conducting joint interviews or public health agencies assist law enforcement to gather evidence.9


Practice Notes

  • Identify information to be obtained or shared.
  • Identify the purpose for which the information is needed.
  • Determine whether this is the minimum necessary for the purpose or whether de-identified information will serve the purpose.
  • Identify sources for the information, such as healthcare providers, schools, other businesses, and individuals.
  • Identify applicable federal or state laws.
  • Determine and meet conditions or requirements for obtaining or sharing information; in some situations, an individual’s consent may avoid legal issues when disclosing private information.
  • If privacy protections prevent disclosures necessary to protect the public, consult with counsel to identify relevant legal responsibilities, evaluate competing moral claims, and document determined course of action.

State Constitutions
State constitutions, along with court decisions that interpret state constitutions, must be reviewed to identify individual rights that exceed the U.S. Constitution. State constitutions may be sources of additional provisions that govern information sharing; for example, some constitutions define individual privacy rights or cover the public’s right to obtain governmental records.

State Statutes

Generally, state law governs state and local public health agencies’ authority and responsibilities regarding collection, use, disclosure, and protection of information. State laws vary in nature and scope. Authority may be based on general statutes, such as public health laws that grant public health agencies communicable disease control authority. Specific laws may also apply.

Case Reporting
These laws mandate that healthcare providers, laboratories, and others report specific communicable diseases and other illness of public health concern. Reporting requirements vary by state, and may also include poisonings, chemical or radiological exposures, suspected acts of terrorism, and other conditions.

Syndromic Surveillance
State laws may require or authorize reporting to electronic syndromic surveillance systems of information that is routinely gathered in emergency rooms or other places that may indicate an emerging disease or other public health threat before confirmed diagnoses are made.

Investigatory Authority
State laws may specifically grant public health agencies authority to conduct investigations and gather evidence, or such authority may arise from general statutory powers. State laws may also establish procedures for obtaining warrants to search the premises of an individual or business and seize evidence related to a public health threat.

Privacy Provisions
Public health or other laws may contain provisions to protect the confidentiality of information that identifies an individual and to limit its disclosure by public health agencies. Exceptions may be provided, for example, for disclosing information to other agencies, law enforcement, or the public when necessary to protect the public’s health.

Freedom of Information
All states have laws that require information held by governmental agencies to be provided upon request. FOI laws promote transparency and accountability of governments, facilitate consumers’ ability to make informed choices, and safeguard citizens against mismanagement and corruption. Public health agencies—like other governmental agencies—need to be sensitive to these important considerations in responding to FOI requests. At the same time, these laws may create challenges for public health agencies with regard to requests for private information about individuals or sensitive information, such as information that is preliminary, incomplete, or might present a national or state security risk. FOI laws include exemptions that may allow public health agencies to withhold private or sensitive information under certain circumstances. These exemptions vary among states in nature, scope, and prerequisites for denying disclosure.

Federal Statutes

Federal laws that impact collection, use, disclosure, and protection of information by public health agencies include, but are not limited to, the following.

HIPAA Privacy Rule
The Privacy Rule10 adopted under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)11 established national privacy protections for individually identifiable health information. The Privacy Rule may apply to healthcare providers or others that provide information to public health agencies. Depending on a public health agency’s organization, the Privacy Rule may apply to a public health agency when it discloses individually identifiable information. The Privacy Rule is not intended to interfere with public health functions and contains provisions that allow public health agencies to collect identifiable health information and disclose it, including to law enforcement, when authorized by law or when necessary to protect the public from an imminent threat.

FERPA
Privacy protections established by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)12 limit information that schools may provide to public health agencies about students. However, exceptions allow schools to provide certain directory information, such as student name and contact information, and necessary information to appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies.13

Surveillance Data Systems
Various federal laws, such as the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness Act of 2002,14 establish surveillance data systems that allow collection of information provided by state and local governmental agencies and integration of federal, state, and local data systems.

Critical Infrastructure
Confidentiality requirements apply to federal disclosure of certain information to state or local governmental agencies related to critical infrastructure and supplies and resources to protect the public’s health. For example, federal law protects the confidentiality of information voluntarily provided by the private sector to the federal government regarding vaccine tracking and distribution15 and information about critical infrastructure.16 Although the federal government may share this information with state and local government and agencies, those agencies must protect its confidentiality.


Practice Resource

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press provides the Open Government Guide at http://www.rcfp.org/open-government-guide, which is a complete compendium of information on every state’s open records and open meetings laws. Each state’s section is arranged according to a standard outline, making it easy to compare laws in various states.


Sources

  1. U.S. Const., Amds 1-10.
  2. Whalen v. Roe, 429 U.S. 589 (1977).
  3. Whalen v. Roe, 429 U.S. 589 (1977); Planned Parenthood of Missouri v. Danforth, 428 U.S. 52 (1976).
  4. Florida v. Jimeno, 500 U.S. 248 (1991).
  5. Camara v. Municipal Court, 387 U.S. 523 (1967) (search of residences); See v. City of Seattle, 387 US 541 (1967) (search of commercial property).
  6. New York v. Burger, 482 US 691 (1987).
  7. Gostin LO. Public Health Law – Power, Duty, Restraint. (2008), p 468, 699-700. See endnotes 57-58.
  8. Michigan v. Tyler, 436 U.S. 499 (1978).
  9. Richards, EP. “Collaboration between Public Health and Law Enforcement: The Constitutional Challenge. Emerging Infectious Diseases.” Available at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/8/10/02-0465_article.htm. Accessed 11-15-2012. Goodman, R.A., Munson, JW, Dammer, K., Lazzarini, Z., and Barkely JP. “Forensic Epidemiology: Law at the Intersection of Public Health and Criminal Investigations.” Journal of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14968670. Accessed on 2-7-2013.
  10. 45 C.F.R. Parts 160 and 164.
  11. Pub. L. 104-191, 42 U.S.C. § 300gg et seq.
  12. Pub. L. 93-380, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, implemented by 34 C.F.R. Part 99.
  13. 34 C.F.R. § 99.31.
  14. Pub. L. 107-188, 42 U.S.C. 300hh et seq.
  15. Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. § 247d-1.
  16. Critical Infrastructure Information Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-296, 6 U.S.C. 131 et seq., which is part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

Note: This document was compiled from April–November 2012 and reflects the laws and programs current then. It reflects only portions of the laws relevant to public health emergencies and is not intended to be exhaustive of all relevant legal authority. This resource is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional legal or other advice. The document was funded by CDC Award No. 1U38HM000454 to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials; Subcontractor Subcontractor University of Michigan School of Public Health, Network for Public Health Law – Mid-States Region.

Source: ASTHO

US Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Open Potential Lawsuits Against Chinese Regime Over Pandemic | The Epoch Times

CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUSBy Cathy He

A Republican congressman introduced a bill on April 3 that would make it easier for Americans to bring legal action against the Chinese regime for its role in causing the global pandemic.

The Chinese regime currently enjoys protection from lawsuits filed in U.S. courts under the doctrine of sovereign immunity, a legal rule that insulates countries from being sued in other countries’ courts. There are, however, exceptions to this rule found in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA).

Stop COVID Act, introduced by Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas), would amend FSIA to provide another exception to immunity, for any state that is found to have “intentionally or unintentionally, to have discharged a biological weapon … in the United States or such discharge results in the bodily injury of [a] United States citizen.”

The move comes amid growing calls by U.S. lawmakers to hold the Chinese regime accountable for its initial coverup of the CCP virus outbreak in Wuhan, which has since morphed into a global pandemic claiming tens of thousands of lives and devastating the world economy.

The Stop COVID Act will give our legal system the power to investigate the origin of the virus and, if found guilty hold accountable those responsible for creating and releasing it,”  Gooden said in a press release.

The legislation would pave the way for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the source of the virus, and file claims against the Chinese regime in the United States, the statement said.

The origin of the virus is still unknown. While Chinese authorities initially suggested that a live animal market in Wuhan was the source of the outbreak, officials have since steered away from this narrative. The first documented patient, a bedridden man in his 70s in Wuhan who showed symptoms on Dec. 1, did not have any contact with the market.

Meanwhile, Beijing has launched a global disinformation campaign to push the unfounded theory that the virus originated from outside China, in a bid to deflect blame over its mismanagement of the outbreak. One Chinese official has claimed, without providing evidence, that the virus was introduced to Wuhan by U.S. Army personnel.

US Lawsuits

Despite the potential barrier of sovereign immunity, several lawsuits were recently launched in domestic courts against the Chinese regime, seeking to hold it liable for the damage the CCP virus has caused to Americans.

One of them is a class action filed by Florida law firm The Berman Law Group in March. The firm, in a joint statement issued on April 3 with Lucas Compton, a Washington-based lobbying firm hired to do PR for the lawsuit, welcomed Gooden’s bill, saying it would “provide additional firepower to our legal position.”

But the firm maintained that the “lawsuit is not only enforceable in its current state, but addresses key legal components that are exceptions to the Foreign Sovereignty Immunities Act’s (FSIA) jurisdiction.”

The complaint says the action falls under two exceptions to FSIA: the “commercial activity” exception—that is, acts in connection with a commercial activity conducted outside the United States that cause a direct effect on the United States—and the exemption for death or harm caused by negligence or other tortious acts or omissions by a foreign state.

But Yale law professor Stephen L. Carter argued in a recent Bloomberg opinion piece that these exceptions are unlikely to be made out.

“The Florida class action suit asserts that the exception for commercial activities applies, but it’s not easy to see how,” Carter wrote.

With regards to the second exemption, “that section specifically bars any claim ‘based upon the exercise or performance or the failure to exercise or perform a discretionary function regardless of whether the discretion be abused.’ It’s hard to find a way around this restriction,” Carter wrote.

Matthew Moore, Berman Law’s class action attorney, told The Epoch Times that the restriction Carter mentions does not apply here because the regime acted “completely egregiously against humanity.”

“If they’ve hidden something of danger, then they don’t get to say that that was a discretionary act,” Moore said.

Though the first cluster of infections appeared in early to mid-December, Chinese authorities did not confirm the outbreak until Dec. 31, 2019. It was not until Jan. 20 that it confirmed human-to-human transmission of the virus. Prior to that, officials had described the outbreak as “preventable and controllable,” and said the risk of human-to-human transmission was low. Yet a January study of the first 425 cases of the disease in Wuhan found “there is evidence that human-to-human transmission has occurred among close contacts since the middle of December 2019.”

At the same time, authorities also silenced Wuhan doctors who sought to warn their peers about the outbreak in late December. They were reprimanded by local police for “spreading rumors.”

Berman Law also plans on adding another FSIA exception to their lawsuit—the exemption for “terrorism,” Jeremy Alters, the chief strategist and non-attorney spokesperson of the firm’s lawsuit, told The Epoch Times.

“We have a virus that is well known to the Chinese government. They’re aware of its propensity to spread human-to-human rapidly. They’re aware of its propensity to harm people and to kill. They’re aware that it originated in the city,” Alters said. “They hid the information from us.”

He added that by the time the Chinese regime alerted the United States and other countries about the severity of the outbreak and initiated lockdown measures, it was already too late—5 million people had already left Wuhan, spreading the virus to other parts of China and overseas.

“How is that not … an act of intentional terror?” Alters said. “This is an act of bioterrorism.”

Source: The Epoch Times

I am an American constitutional lawyer – and I see our government using Covid-19 to take away our fundamental rights | Ron Paul Institute

lockdown

Johnny Liberty, Editor’s Note: For almost thirty years we fought to preserve your freedoms in America from the encroachment of national, state and local governments only to have one, overstated “pandemic” destroy all of them in one large swath of overreaching power. Americans are still asleep at the wheel and have lost the enthusiasm for preserving their freedoms. The U.S. Constitution and your Bill of Rights has been quarantined. 

By Robert Barnes

Do we really think “it can’t happen here” in America? Could we quarantine the constitution? Are we doing it already?

Panics from pandemics unleash unchecked governmental power. The very premise of popular films like V for Vendetta reveal this: a group uses a virus to seize power and create a totalitarian society. Anyone could witness this from far-off lands, watching the news about China locking people up in their own homes and then removing them screaming from those homes whenever the state wanted. World War I and the Great Depression birthed virulent forms of governments with leaders like Hitler, Mao, Mussolini and Stalin.

Governments across America already used the pandemic, and the media-stoked panic around the pandemic particularly, to limit, restrict or remove First Amendment freedoms of speech and free association, with officials complaining about the potential restraints the freedom of religion imposed upon them. Others denied or declared the right to deny Second Amendment rights of gun purchase for personal safety (at a time governments are issuing no-arrest and no-detention orders for a wide range of crimes in their community while publicly freeing inmates from jails and prisons). They want to coordinate with tech companies to surveil and spy on your everyday movements and activities, in violation of the Fourth Amendment and potentially waive, unilaterally, your medical right to privacy in multiple contexts. Stay-at-home orders deprive you of your profession, occupation, business and property, without any due process of law at all beyond an executive fiat in violation of the Fifth Amendment right to due process. Governments request the authority to involuntarily imprison any American on mere fear of infection without any probable cause of crime or clear and present danger of harm by that person’s volitional conduct, deny access to personal counsel in an unsupervised, un-surveilled manner in violation of the Sixth Amendment, and act as judge, jury and executioner in violation of the Seventh Amendment right to a trial by jury, as jury trials themselves get suspended around the country in the nation’s quieted courts and fear-muted public.

The real pandemic threat is here. It’s the panic that will quarantine our Constitution.

First Amendment Quarantined?

Already, governments in America suspended the First Amendment freedom of millions of citizens with shutdown, stay-at-home, curfew orders that prohibit obtaining a petition for a public protest, or even being physically present for a public protest. Indeed, even meetings in “more than ten” are prohibited by various governing jurisdictions within the United States. Surprising places like Missouri did so. Towns like Hartford did so. Maryland soon followed suit. The effect of the stay-at-home orders of New YorkCaliforniaNevadaIllinois and Pennsylvania effectively achieve the same outcome. Other governing officials recognized the dubious lawlessness of these orders, but remain outliers. Remember the Hong Kong protests? Gone. Remember the Yellow Vest protests? Soon to be gone. Seen any protests on American streets today? A pandemic is here. Protests gone. Constitution quarantined.

Second Amendment Quarantined?

But that is not all. Under the guise of “unnecessary businesses,” “emergency powers,” or simply by furloughing or reducing staff in the background checks department, governments show the willingness to limit Second Amendment rights as well as First Amendment protections. Mayors declare the right to ban gun sales, governments declare no background-check personnel to process a background check, delaying gun sales indefinitely, and other governments simply shut down all gun sales businesses entirely. Most worrisome, this happens while governments release inmates into the streets, and discuss releasing even more, and, at the same time, issue no-arrest and no-detention orders from Philadelphia to Fort Worth for a wide range of criminals. Want to defend yourself, give yourself a deep sense of personal protection that comes with gun ownership for many, as the Second Amendment safeguards? Well, no luck, according to too many of our governing overlords. A pandemic is here. Self-protection sacrificed. Constitution quarantined.

Fourth Amendment Quarantined?

Few protections are more American than the right to privacy against coerced, compelled, secretive, subversive invasion. The government operates like a virus in a case of a pandemic panic, infecting our minds and bodies, monitoring speech, association and movement, with tools of surveillance unthought-of to the founders. Coordinating with private companies (unrestrained by the Fourth Amendment; why do you think NSA uses them to gather all your emails, conversations, texts, and internet searches, at the first stage?), governments used the panic about the pandemic, a panic the government itself stoked with aid of a compliant, complicit press, to waive your medical privacy and invade your personal privacy, looking for tools to monitor your every movement, associations, activities, and behavior. The watching eye in the sky can now be the Alexa in your home, the camera on your computer, and the phone in your hand. A pandemic is here. Privacy ended. Constitution quarantined.

Fifth Amendment Quarantined?

The protection for our right to make a living arises from the Fifth Amendment right to property without deprivation by due process of law, and the obligation for the government to compensate any such takings. Yet, governments across America did just that to millions of businesses, workers, and property owners, stripping them of their ability to make a living, or even to engage in a free market of commerce, by shutdown orders, curfews, and stay-at-home orders. The political and professional class ensconced in its work-from-home environs fails to appreciate the hardship this imposes on working people. No compensation. No substitution. No wages. No revenues. No opportunity. Labor lost that can never be recovered, ever, while it leaves our economy teetering on the edge of a worst-ever depression. The foundation of government is to protect the pursuit of happiness. Now all we get to pursue is Netflix-and-chill and hope miracles happen to pay next week’s bills, and pray the market doesn’t crash like in 1929. A pandemic is here. Opportunity & property gone. Constitution quarantined.

Conclusion

Our founders were intimately familiar with pandemics, viruses and plagues, yet they did not allow any to suspend our Constitutional liberties. Not one word in the Constitution about plagues or pandemics to exempt the government from any of our Bill of Rights. Why do our current courts allow it? Because the public is asleep at the wheel. Think the pandemic threatens to kills us all? A review of the data shows the pandemic is more panic than plague.

Time to wake up. Maybe it is time in the motto of V for Vendetta, to “Remember, remember the fifth of November, the gunpowder treason and plot.” As that film’s lead character well said: “People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.” Only when an awake public asserts their human liberties to protest the loss of their liberties will, then, governments quit using public health crises to seize power that does not belong to them. The answer to 1984 is still 1776.

Reprinted with permission from RT.

The author is an American constitutional lawyer representing high-profile clients in civil and criminal trials, and known for his prescient political prognostications in American and international elections.

Source: Ron Paul Institute

Does Gov. Newsom Have the Power to Shut Down Private Businesses Because of Coronavirus? | California Globe

HM_JF19_Page_37_Image_0001_0Editor’s Note: Finally, a constitutional attorney studies the California Governors martial law powers distinct from emergency powers. The State of California has declared a state emergency on the heels of a national emergency so as to cash in on federal funding  available to the state, but the Governor has not declared martial law. His orders are recommendations with no force of law.

Do counties really have the authority to order everyone to stay at home? Are Shelter in Place Laws Valid?

By Katy Grimes

California Constitutional-Election Law Attorney Attorney Mark Meuser has been questioned so much about the Coronavirus shelter in place orders, and social distancing, he prepared a video and comprehensive explanation of the executive Orders issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom, and California counties public health officials’ orders.

Mark Meuser:

I have been asked by numerous people to help them understand what is going on in the state of California regarding the shutting down of businesses and shelter in place laws. Does the governor really have the power to shut down private businesses? Do counties really have the authority to order everyone to stay at home? This video is my attempt to provide some basic understanding about the difference between martial law and the governor declaring a state of emergency. In this video, we will look at California statutes, the Governors Executive Orders, and the subsequent county health orders of shelter in place. Hopefully as we go through all these documents, you will gain a better understanding of what exactly is going on in this state.

Because of all the misinformation and a lack of information regarding what is going on, if you find this video helpful, can I ask you to share this video on your social media. Tell your friends and family to watch this video so that they can be better educated on what exactly is going on legally that led to all these shelter in place laws.

Please remember that things are changing by the minute and as such, it may not necessarily reflect the most current legal developments. As such, all the information presented here is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should seek the advice of legal counsel of your choice before acting upon any of the information contained in this video.

First off, let’s start off with the term Martial Law. What is Martial Law, and when can the governor declare Martial Law?

California Military and Veterans Code Section 143 is the statute that gives the Governor authority to proclaim Martial Law. This statute reads:

Whenever the Governor is satisfied that rebellion, insurrection, tumult or riot exists in any part of the state the Governor may, by proclamation, declareto be in a state of insurrection, and he or she may thereupon order into the service of the state any number and description of the active militia, or unorganized militia, as he or she deems necessary, to serve for a term and under the command of any officer as he or she directs.

As you can see, we are not currently in a state of rebellion, insurrection, tumult or riots and as such, the Governor of the State does not have the power to declare martial law. However, that being said, the Governor does have broad powers under the California Emergency Services Act. The California Emergency Services Act can be found starting in California Government Code section 8550.

There are three main types of emergencies that enable a governor to declare a state of emergency.

  1. State of War emergency.
  2. State of Emergency
  3. Local Emergency

I think we all agree that we do not currently have a state of war emergency since neither California or the United State are not under an attack or threat of attack by an enemy of the United States.

As such, that leads us to state of emergency or local emergency. A local emergency deals with disasters that are contained within the limits of a county. Since the Corona virus effects the entire state of California, we are currently dealing with the second option, a State of Emergency.

Under California Government code section 8558, a governor can call a state of emergency when there is an “existence of conditions of disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the state caused by conditions such as air pollution, fire, flood, storm, epidemic, riot, drought, cyberterrorism, sudden and severe energy shortage, plant or animal infestation or disease, …earthquake, or other conditions, other than conditions resulting from a labor controversy or conditions causing a state of war emergency ….”

California Government Code section 8567 states that all orders under the California Emergency Services Act must be in writing and they take effect immediately. When the governor calls a state of emergency, he may suspend any state statute, rule or regulation. (Cal. Gov. § 8571). Please notice that the governor does not have the authority to suspend the California Constitution. As such, any rights contained in the Constitution are still in force. In fact, to make sure the government understands that there are limits to their authority, Cal. Gov. § 8571.5 expressly states that nothing in the California Emergency Services Act gives the government the right to seize or confiscate any firearm or ammunition unless an officer is arresting someone pursuant to an investigation for the commission of a crime.

When a governor calls a state of emergency, this gives him the authority to commandeer or utilize any private property or personnel deemed by him necessary in carrying out the responsibilities. However, the state is liable for the reasonable value of what it uses. (Gov. Code § 8572).

Gov. Newsom’s Executive Orders

Now that we have discussed the law, let’s now talk about what the Governor of California has actually done.

On March 4, 2020, Governor Newsom Declared a State of Emergency.

On March 11, 2020, Governor Newsom’s office published the fact that it was California Department of Public Health’s policy of preventing gatherings of groups larger than 250 people “should be postponed.” This was not an executive order by the governor, instead it was a California Department of Public Health policy. This policy does not cite a single law that gives the California Department of Public Health authority to shut down events of 250 people or require social distancing of more than 6 feet. While these may be good guidelines to follow, they are simply policies, they are not the law.

To emphasize that this was just a policy and not a law, on March 12, 2020, Newsom issues his next executive order (N-25-20). This executive order states that “All residents are to heed any orders and guidance of state and local public health officials, including but not limited to the imposition of social distancing measures, to control the spread of COVID-19.”

Notice the language of this order. “All residents are to heed any orders and guidance …”. If you look up the word heed in the dictionary, you will discover that it means “to give consideration attention to.” It does not say you must obey. Gavin Newsom in his executive order utilizing his powers granted him after declaring a state of emergency told the citizens of California that Californians should takes the advice given by the California Department of Public Health into consideration when making decisions.

Thus, contrary what you may have been led to believe, Gov. Newsom did not actually issue an executive order requiring Californians to practice social distancing, nor did he actually order gatherings of over 250 people to shut down. All he did was order people to pay attention to what these organizations were saying. These were merely recommendations.

Understand, a policy is different from a regulation. While I was able to find authority that allowed the California Department of Health Services to issue emergency regulations after they jumped through a few hoops, I have been unable to find where their policies would have the full force of law. Laws are passed by the legislature, or under the state of emergency, via executive order by the governor.

Before I move on to what the counties have done with their shelter in place laws, I want to quickly let you know that Gov. Newsom has issued five other executive orders in the last several days regarding the Corona virus.

Newsom has signed an executive order on March 13 ensuring funding for schools even if the schools are closed. He has issued an executive order on March 16th on how the state must focus on protecting the health and safety of the most vulnerable. And on March 16th, his executive order dealt with suspending the laws allowing landlords and banks from removing individuals who have not been able to pay their bills until May 31st. On the 17th he signed an executive order to ensure that key commodities can be delivered to California retailers. Finally, on the 18th he issued an executive order to protect ongoing safety net services for the most vulnerable Californians.

Shelter in Place Laws

So now let’s move to the issue of shelter in place laws being issued by the counties. I have not looked at every county’s shelter in place law, but I have looked at several and they are very similar.

California law allows counties to declare a health emergency when the local health officer determines that there is a threat of the introduction of any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease. (California Health and Safety Code § 101080). It appears that this power was not given to the California Department of Health Services but instead, this power was left in the hands of local Health Officers.

Cal. Health & Safety § 101040 permits local health officers to take any preventive measures that may be necessary to protect and preserve the public health from any state of emergency declared by the governor. After a local health emergency has been declared, “The sheriff of each county .. may enforce within the county … all orders of the local health officer issued for the purpose of preventing the spread of any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease.” (Cal. Health and Safety Code 101029). Cal. Health & Safety § 101030 specifically gives the county health officer the authority to order quarantines.

However, the question arises, does a county health officer have the authority to order a quarantine of healthy people, or just those who are sick? What laws are in place in the state of California regarding the stopping of disease through quarantine?

The statutes are very broad in their wording. Cal. Health & Safety § 120175 says that the health officers “shall take measures as may be necessary to prevent the spread of the disease or occurrence of additional cases. Cal. Health & Safety § 120200 indicates that a health officer shall establish and maintain places of quarantine. But this still does not answer the question, can a health officer issue a quarantine of everyone in the county?

In 1921, Laura Culver petitioned the courts to be released from a quarantine. The Court’s held that the law permitted public health officials to quarantine individuals who have come in contact with cases and carriers of contagious diseases.

As one studies California law, it is clear that the law used to be very explicit that a quarantine was only applicable to those who had a contagious disease or those who had come in contact with someone who had a contagious disease.

While most of the laws regarding quarantine are very broad, Cal. Health & Safety § 120215 appears to have limiting language. This statute reads: Upon receiving information of the existence of contagious, infectious, or communicable disease for which the department may from time to time declare the need for strict isolation or quarantine, each health officer shall: (a) Ensure the adequate isolation of each case, and appropriate quarantine of the contacts and premises. (b) Follow the local rules and regulations, and all general and special rules, regulations, and orders of the department, in carrying out the quarantine or isolation.

Let’s look at this for a minute. I think we can all agree that the health officers have sufficient information that there is a communicable disease. However, where we disagree is that the Health Officers are ordering a county wide shelter in place law where the law only allows “adequate isolation of each case, and appropriate quarantine of the contacts.” This is where the local health official appears to have overstepped their authority. The counties are not looking at this on a case by case bases. Instead, they are issuing broad orders that affect both the healthy and the sick. They are not ordering a quarantine of those who have been in contact with someone who has the virus.

Cal. Health & Safety § 120225 also has some instructive language. This statute says that “A person subject to quarantine …”. The quarantine laws where designed to quarantine an individual or a location, not an entire community or organization.

Finally, Cal. Health & Safety § 120235 makes clear that the quarantine powers of the local health officer were never intended to be a community lock down. Cal. Health & Safety § 120235 clearly states that “no quarantine shall be raised until every exposed room, together with all personal property in the room, has been adequately treated, or, if necessary, destroyed, under the direction of the health officer, and until all persons having been under strict isolation are considered noninfectious.”

The quarantine laws are clearly intended to be applied to individuals not to the entire county. The quarantine laws are designed to stop those who might have been infected from passing the disease onto others. Absent the local health officers finding that an individual has the disease or is likely to have the disease, California law does not give them broad authority to quarantine the entire county.

As such, it appears counties such as San Francisco that have issued broad shelter in place laws may be violating California law.

If you feel like the state of emergency called by the governor or these shelter in place laws have adversely effected your business and/or violated your constitutional rights, I would encourage you to seek competent legal counsel to examine your individual case.

In conclusion, we are living in very interesting times. There are those who feel like government officials are in a contest to see who can be the most aggressive in upending the lives of its citizens over the Corona virus. The great debate of today seems to be, is the government doing too much or is the government not doing enough. Regardless of the answer to that question, there are going to be some serious financial ramifications as a result of this virus.

Regardless of whether the government has over reacted or under reacted, the threat of this virus will end. When it does, our generation will have the opportunity to show how we are able to bounce back, just like we did after the Great Depression or 9/11.

Source: California Globe