Many of us with public offices such as Notary Public, Police, Judges, and others have sworn an Oath of Office to protect the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. The exact wording of your Oath varies by profession, state, and varies over time. But, the concept is similar. You do not sit and watch while our constitution is being violated — you stand up and do something. But, do what? Use your imagination. Protest, write letters, make phone calls to critical people – make some noise damn it!
The constitution and its amendments are the bedrock and foundation of our society. If people can violate it with reckless abandon for light and transient causes such as diseases that only kill people in nursing homes or due to temporary riots, then the governors can get away with anything — and in 2020 they did.
It is December, 2020 when I am writing this article. State officials are beginning to speak more frequently about the constitution. Rudy Giuliani made several lawsuits involving states concerning the legitimacy of votes which included some constitutional issues. The Texas Secretary of State sued a few states that violated constitutional procedure for making changes in voting rules. And more Sheriffs (in CA & NY for example) and regular people are beginning to stand up more and more and protest how their rights have been taken away from them.
What specific violations can be sourced?
1. Liberty & Masks
Liberty is described as an unalienable right by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the State of California. Liberty is also a right in the Constitution that can only be taken from you by due process. Is forcing a healthy person to wear a mask or socially distance liberty?
Liberty I would define as the ability to do what you like unless you create extreme danger or discomfort to others. A healthy person not wearing a mask poses no more danger to others than a safe driver on the road poses. Sure there might be an accident, but the risk is a small and reasonable risk. A driver who has a record of driving recklessly would pose a significant risk. And we need to differentiate between reasonable risk and unreasonable risk — but, due to our paranoia of Covid-19, our brains no longer function rationally.
2. The First Amendment: The Right to Assemble
The right to assemble on personal property, business property, and public property such as parks, beaches, hiking trails, etc., has been abridged in many states by the respective Governors. Many were denied their right to run their business or have as many clients as they wanted in their building. Restaurants couldn’t provide inside dining either for months on end which created financial devastation to many.
3. The First Amendment: Religious Rights
Our rights to practice our religions have been violated. In many states the Governors have made it illegal to congregate in a religious building such as a church, mosque, or synagogue. Additionally, there was hypocrisy in enforcement as violent rioters were allowed to congregate in mass and damage businesses. Executive orders must be even handed across the board, so if 100 rioters can assemble to riot, therefore 100 church goers should have the same right. On the other hand, the constitution doesn’t allow any abridgement of our rights. I consider it to be treason for a member of the government to willfully violate our constitutional rights.
4. The Second Amendment: Gun Rights
Several states wanted to abridge gun rights or take guns away from members of the public. The constitution doesn’t state that the government can do such a thing. Members of the public have the right to bear firearms — it doesn’t say which type they can have or can’t have or under what conditions. It just says we can have them.
5. Constitution Main Body: Changing voting rules
Several states decided to change their voting protocol to include mail in ballots which is a contested issue. During previous years the Democrats complained about fraud involving mail-in ballot, and now the Republicans are complaining more. It is hard to verify someone’s identity or whether or not they are living or a state resident with mail-in ballots. Most Republicans claim that was the whole point — to defraud an election and defeat Trump. But, the legislation of the respective states must be the party to decide what voting procedures are and not other parties of the executive or judicial branch who “take over,” at least temporarily.
6. Freedom of Press
Although the government did not abridge our rights to free expression in any way I am aware of, the government was sluggish to crack down on utility companies such as large internet and social media outfits who routinely censor and suppress the commentary particularly of more traditional or conservative voices. If we are to live in a country with freedom and where all voices are heard, you cannot let companies censor those who they allow free commentary unless they are publishers. I also believe that if Twitter and Facebook wish to be publishers, there should be a completely different rulebook for them to play by and they should not allow their members to post freely at all. Social media should be distinguished from publishing and Twitter and Facebook need to decide if they want free press or whether they want to have designated writers. Having both simultaneously on a rocking boat doesn’t seem to work beneficially to the public.
7. A dysfunctional system of checks and balances
Governors of states in 2020 could get away with anything with little if any consequences. The people did not stand up with any force against the government — not even in Michigan where there were mini uprisings and a kidnapping attempt which never amounted to anything. From my limited knowledge of how America works, it seems that the court systems in the various states have the power to shut down a governor’s powers if he or she abuses them. However, only Wisconsin was able to stop their governor from making arbitrary Covid-19 related orders. The other states either did nothing, made a feeble and failed attempt to curtail the governor’s actions, or in the case of California only limited Newsom’s ability to make executive orders that contradicted existing legislation, but did NOT prevent him from shutting indoor dining, or preventing free assembly or freedom of religion.
California’s freedom of religion was decided by a Federal circuit court many months ago who decided that going to church would be suicide, and therefore that the constitution no longer applies and that the constitution has a “pause” button that can be pressed at arbitrary times. When I read the constitution and the various amendments, I erroneously missed the part where the pause button is described. Perhaps I should read more carefully.
Notaries also swore to protect the constitution in their Oath of Office, so it behooves you to do something to defend it. Write a letter, make a phone call, write an article, demonstrate publically — do something.
The Constitution is a document — a piece of paper. It is the foundation of our society. However, without enforcement, (and we the people are part of the mechanism that can enforce it or pressure others to enforce it) — it remains a meaningless, helpless and worthless piece of paper. If you value America, the country that gave your ancestors life, freedom, liberty, safety, opportunity, and the right to pursue happiness, then get off your rear end and defend this document with your life if necessary otherwise our republic is done — perhaps permanently! We would be done due to the economic catastrophe of unconstitutional shutdowns as well as the government corruption which undermines the character of our nation.