Bill of Rights? What Bill of Rights?

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy

New Jersey Gov. Phillip Murphy–who calls recreational pot-smoking “the civil rights issue of our time,” who’s hot to trot for assisted suicide–told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that a basic consideration of the Bill of Rights is “above my pay grade” (https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/above-my-pay-grade-new-jersey-governor-claims-bill-of-rights-did-not-factor-into-his-coronavirus-executive-orders).

Carlson was asking him about one of his executive orders that resulted in the arrest of 15 worshipers at a synagogue–exercising their First Amendment right of free exercise of religion–and Murphy answered “[I] wasn’t thinking of the Bill of Rights when we did this.”

Even if you believe these executive orders are absolutely necessary to cope with a medical emergency, does it follow that the Bill of Rights is just… a luxury? Well, yeah, freedoms are okay, but it’s not like we need ’em or anything.

I mean, he could have said, “Well, of course I thought of the Bill of Rights and I didn’t take this step lightly: I was responding to an emergency. I felt I had to do it.”

We are talking elementary civics here–the kind of thing everybody used to learn in junior high school. It was not above a governor’s pay grade. The Bill of Rights is foundational to our country’s entire legal system. To ignore it, to trample on it, is to weaken all the laws. As Mr. Pot-Head Governor is duty-bound to know!

Are we going to have to go through this quarantine rigmarole every time there’s a disease on the loose, from now on? Well, that would be always, because there’s always some germ or other looking to infect us.

So that’s another thing this experience has taught us: We need to tighten up and make much more specific the rules defining what powers governors or mayors may invoke and exercise to deal with an emergency. As we have seen in several states, we just can’t trust them to make it up as they go along.

15 comments on “Bill of Rights? What Bill of Rights?

  1. I’m re-learning about all that stuff. Tomorrow is my last day of high school and my mom asked me to proof watch a government DVD series for my younger siblings to take at some point, and there’s lots to learn. Even for an old person like me.

  2. Michigan seems to have seceded from the USA, or at least from its Constitution. In addition to their overreaching governor, they also have at least one judge who thinks he can authorize police to arrest anyone they suspect — yes, “suspect” — of having the Wuhan virus.

    This is from Steve Gruber in a Michigan newspaper, and also from his blog, SteveGruber.com:
    “In a case of stunning judicial overreach, a Judge in West Michigan issued orders to have people suspected of being sick with COVID-19 to be arrested, with no other charges. According to The Great Lakes Justice Center on April 6, 2020, Kent County Chief Circuit Judge Mark Trusock issued a court order authorizing the police to involuntarily detain (arrest) anyone suspected to a “carrier and health threat” to the community. It appears the Judge doesn’t understand general arrest warrants are not legal in The United States. Just because you are a Judge doesn’t mean you can issue detention orders against an entire class of people. In America, arrest warrants are executed for individual citizens and must be specified in the charges being leveled.”

    Judge Trusock’s words are: “if a health official determines (in his or her sole discretion) a person has Covid-19 that person may be detained for up to 72 hours with any opportunity to be heard at a court hearing.”

    1. Let’s hope those health officials don’t get one of those devices Iran claims to have invented where they can tell who is infected by a some kind of ray it sends out.

  3. Here’s an update on the Michigan judge’s order for the arrest and detention of apparently sick people. According to LifeSiteNews, the order states, in part, that “the individual could then be held for at least three days to confirm he or she is ‘without a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 72 consecutive hours (without use of fever reducing medication) and/or is otherwise non-symptomatic and meets the CDC criteria for release from isolation.'”
    See: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/michigan-judge-authorizes-arresting-people-on-suspicion-of-covid-19-illness

    Here was my response in the comments section (I’ve capitalized what I bolded in the original, since I don’t know the protocol for bolding in WordPress:
    Did I read this correctly? People with 100.4F fever should be arrested and held in confinement WITHOUT FEVER-REDUCING MEDICATION so officials can see whether they have the Wuhan virus? In other words, when you get sick with a fever, regardless of WHY you’re running the fever, you’re arrested and denied treatment for three days? And if you remain sick, get sicker, or even die because you’ve been denied treatment, you’re listed as a Wuhan death and officials shrug their shoulders and say, “Good riddance; we’ve saved the world from another carrier”?

    Even aside from the insanity of denying sick people medical treatment on the grounds that they’re sick, since when did illness become a felony? No, I take that back. Accused felons who aren’t running a fever are entitled to a lawyer, a trial, and medical treatment while incarcerated.

    1. Thanks for the link, Phoebe, I’ll have to write about this sometime today.

      Is this why they’re letting robbers and drug dealers out of jail? So they can fill the cells with normal people?

    2. Being in jail might actually turn out to be a good deal for us. Prisoners have more amenities, liberties, and social time than law-abiding citizens do these days.

    3. Also note that the CDC is now empowered to say whether you “meet the criteria to be let out of isolation.” In other words, incarceration is the norm for everyone, unless the CDC (who died and made them King?) decides you’re fit to be let loose. And of course they can always change their mind later. If this isn’t tyranny, I don’t know what is.

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