Government Shutdown Orders Appear to Have No Teeth
You may remember the First Amendment from school. It packs five God-given liberties into one powerful punch. It reads as follows:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
I’ve recently made an argument four of the five are threatened. These demonstrations outside state capitols are covered under both your right of assembly and petition. Which is why you probably haven’t seen them broken up by men on horseback, swinging batons and, yet. Many Governors and neighborhood snitches are demanding you be herded into a paddy wagon for exercising those rights.
You can open your church doors but it requires you to assert your rights. And as we’ve seen from recent demonstrations, tough-talking Governors have no bite.
Freedom of speech got the heave-ho in New Jersey, where a woman was ticketed simply for trying to organize a demonstration.
Freedom of religion has been shackled by some state and local governments who argue gathering in houses of worship is dangerous. I’ve always been under the impression the Bill of Rights and its liberties were sacrosanct. You won’t find any writings by the Founding Fathers where they qualify what God gave you and man can take away in the event of a disease outbreak.
I’ve been surprised we haven’t seen more legal challenges but the few we’ve raised appear to say the Constitution has more weight than a Governor looking to score points with news media. Which appears the prevailing motivation for shutdown orders. Media has the one liberty in the First Amendment we haven’t seen trampled and still, it cheers the trampling of the others.
Check out this link and notice the headline implies the judge ruling in favor of religion is portrayed as a lackey for President Trump.
Interestingly, many of these early court decisions (and there will be more) are based not on the Bill of Rights but by what a lawyer friend calls the “Middle Three”. Judges are saying the faithful are being targeted as the unfaithful skate. Liquor stores are open and the drinkers get a pass. Churches are closed. The columnist and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan last week blamed a compliant clergy. You can open your church doors but it requires you to assert your rights. And as we’ve seen from recent demonstrations, tough-talking Governors have no bite.