Horowitz: Governors DO NOT have the authority to suspend civil rights indefinitely
Updated: May 1, 2020
The OpentheStates movement started because the American people have had enough of the heavy-handed COVID-19 lockdowns.
We've seen people arrested for protesting the lockdowns, governors impose restrictions that have nothing to do with stopping the spread of the virus, and leaders intentionally ignoring the will of We the People.
We're living in a time that the Founders would have found unthinkable. As Daniel Horowitz explained over at Conservative Review, we've never experienced a time in our nation's history when the movement of the entire people of a state was suspended indefinitely.
"What authority does a governor or county official have to suspend all personal liberty and property rights of even healthy individuals and business owners indefinitely without due process?" Horowitz asks. "The answer is, of course, that absolutely no such authority exists."
There is no greater right than the ability to move freely without restriction. We’ve never experienced a time in our 400 years on this continent, even under King George, when the movement of the entire people of a state was restricted this severely for this long, especially without due process. While the people who form a society give up certain powers in order to empower a government to protect public safety, this core freedom has never been ceded.
John Locke explained the origin of this liberty as follows: “To understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.”
That’s it. A government has no power to indefinitely restrict movement and our ability to earn a living beyond certain narrowly tailored regulations. These core liberties have never been ceded even during times of war or danger.
It's time to reassert our liberties in a safe and responsible manner. The COVID-19 virus is a real threat, and we have a duty to protect those who are most vulnerable. But that doesn't mean we must surrender to petty tyrants who wish to lord their emergency power over the residents of their state.
OpentheStates.com allows you to connect with the groups in your state who are organizing to hold our elected officials accountable. We've also published petitions asking our national and state leaders to do everything they can to re-open the states for business.
Moms and dads need to get back to work. Business owners need to save their life's work. And tyrannical state officials need to stop abusing their emergency powers and get back in their constitutional box.