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What the Founders would have thought about COVID-snitching hotlines

The following was written by Michael Farris, the CEO and General Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom. It was originally published on his Facebook page.

I have taught thousands of people in my college and online courses of constitutional law that the Third Amendment means that “soldiers sleep elsewhere.”

It reads: “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

Every provision of the Bill of Rights was born out of some experience that left the Founders with the conclusion that any repetition was incompatible with the rights of the people.

The Quartering Acts passed by the British Parliament did not actually require people to accept soldiers into their private homes. Rather, the soldiers were quartered in commandeered inns, vacant houses, and the like.

Soldiers were in the neighborhood for the express purpose of keeping an eye on people that might not like the oppressive British government.

Our ancestors had no problem with reporting to the regular law enforcement authorities if they witnessed ordinary crimes like burglary, assault, or murder.

But they did not want people among them to be able to watch them to see if they had the tendency to defy the government.

Many governors and mayors have established programs of ignoring “petty” crimes such as shoplifting by the homeless. But many of these same officials have established hotlines to have neighbors report on neighbors if they see them defy a governor’s quarantine order.

We are living in the world the Founders sought to prevent with the Third Amendment.

Some crimes are now ok. Disagreeing with the government is not.

November is coming and those who have defied our rights need to be shown the exit when we cast our ballots.

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