The legal crisis we find ourselves in today is far worse than the supposed medical/health crisis being reported in the legacy media. I find it necessary to address a few underlying fundamental points that I don’t hear discussed much in media or elsewhere.
First, an executive order made by a governor does not have the force of law. It is not law. It is, at best, a strong recommendation. A very lengthy and detailed process is required to create a law. It must be proposed, it must be debated, it must be passed by the legislature, and it must be published in advance of its taking effect. Proper laws must be added to the Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL’s)(or your local city, township, or municipality code of ordinances) and made available to the public. Laws relating to crimes must be added to the Michigan Penal Code (Chapter 750 of the MCL’s). Search the Penal Code for the law that makes it a crime to disobey an executive order. You won’t find it. It doesn’t exist. In addition, the phrases “stay at home” and “shelter in place” do not exist anywhere in the MCL’s, the Michigan Penal Code, or our state’s history of legal jurisprudence. Nowhere. They are not a part of our nomenclature. They are not a part of our law. As such, they are not enforceable as law.
Second, unless martial law has been declared throughout the country, The Constitution of the United States still applies and remains the supreme law of the land. Presidents, governors, representatives, law enforcement officers, and members of the military ALL swear an Oath to uphold and defend The Constitution, even (and, I would argue, especially) in a time of crisis. There is no emergency exception. The First Amendment to The Constitution guarantees that government will not impede on your right to peaceably assemble (and travel freely to do so), to practice your religion (and travel freely to do so), to petition your government for a redress of grievances (and travel freely to do so), and to have free speech and freedom of the press. There is no emergency exception.
Furthermore, the Fifth Amendment to The Constitution of the United States specifically states that, “No person shall… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Liberty means your freedom to move about and do as you please (so long as you’re not violating others’ rights and freedoms). Due process means that, for your liberty to be taken away, you must be charged with a specific violation, you must have the opportunity to review the evidence against you, you must have the right to counsel, and you must be given the opportunity to defend yourself at a hearing with a judge or a trial with a jury of your peers. And, if you lose, you must have the opportunity to appeal the decision. Without that process, government may not deprive you of your liberty. There is no emergency exception.
Third, mandatory “stay at home” orders defy all common sense. Allow me to explain. If a real emergency did indeed exist – an emergency so bad that it endangered the entirety of the general public – it would be so obvious and apparent to the general public that people would stay home voluntarily. Imagine we are at war, the bombs are falling, and the nuclear missiles are inbound to every major city. You wouldn’t have to order people to stay inside. They’d do it voluntarily. But, even then, if you wanted to stay outside and watch the bombs bursting in air, you would be well within your right to do so. That’s the very essence of liberty – the right and freedom to make bad decisions. And the governor or mayor would have zero authority to order you to go inside. That same concept applies to wars, pandemics, and all emergencies, whether real or imagined.
In short, mandatory “stay at home,” “shelter in place,” and similar orders are unenforceable as law, violate multiple sections of our constitution, and defy common sense. A governor or mayor cannot order you to stay in any more than they can order you to go out. They cannot order you to stay in and give up your First Amendment freedoms any more than they can order you to turn in your guns (Second Amendment), or quarter soldiers in your house (Third Amendment), or be searched at random without cause (Fourth Amendment) or testify against yourself (Fifth Amendment). They may think they have the power, but they do not have the authority.
Governments are created of the people, by the people, and for the people. All forms of government in our country exist only because the people consent to their existence. As such, we are governed only by our consent. So, stay home and shelter in place if you wish – it’s your right to do so. But understand that it is also the right of others to not stay home. And the same goes for every right we have in this country – if you have the right to do something, you must also have the right to not do that thing. Otherwise, it’s not a right at all. And no executive order can take that away.
The Attorney Next-door