Mayor Andy Berke of Chattanooga,caught in the CV-19 panic, is admitting a key legal distinction he has previously ignored, one that is part of a racially sensitive police power reform.
The distinction is between private travel and licensed/privileged transportation. His executive order seizing authority over private movement by car and truck is based on the pretext of a medical statewide emergency.
Mayor Berke has been under a transportation administrative notice for more than two years, and has refused to end the Jim-Crow system that uses the state trucking law to harass the black, the poor, the orphan and widow, the alien and stranger — and everybody else. Mayor Berke has refused to exercise his executive authority to protect the people in the city limits by ordering an end to ultra vires, or outside-the-scope-of-law, “traffic stops,” as they are euphemistically called.
In the mayor’s executive order to “lock down” city and slow the CV-19 flu, he imposes “travel restrictions.”
“All travel, including, but not limited to, travel on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, or public transit, within the city except essential travel and essential activities as defined in this order, is prohibited. *** This order allows travel into or out of the city to perform essentral activities, operate essential services businesses, or maintain essential governmental functions.” (Executive order 2020-6)
The mayor has authority over one section of the activity of travel. That is, over transportation. His branch of government operates a department of transportation. In normal times, he would claim legal authority over that area of travel only. But with CV-19, he is reaching out beyond the scope of the routine area of authority
He is admitting that because of the medical emergency, not just transportation is subject to him and to the state under the CV-19 decree, but travel.
Travel basis of exercise of your rights
Travel is the general concept of movement of people and goods from Point A to Point B. Travel in law has 2 categories. In the Tennessee code annotated, there is the distinction between the people’s use of the roads in travel, for pleasure and for private business and private purposes, and operation of motor vehicles. Motor vehicles are commercial equipment used for profit and gain, to move people or goods for hire on the public’s right of way. Their operation for profit is subject to the state’s taxable privilege system, subject to Tenn. Code Ann. § Title 55, the motor and other vehicle body of law, and also to Title 65, chapter 15, motor carriers,
Transportation is under state privilege, requiring the person who makes a living on the road to submit himself to taxation to the department of revenue, with the taxes collected by the department safety and homeland security. State troopers enforce the tax and safety regulations.
In a longstanding violation of the people’s rights, the state allows cities and counties to impose this trucking, shipping, freight, hauling, moving and transportation body of administrative law upon people who are not involved in the trucking, shipping, freight, hauling, moving and transportation line of business.
Mayor Berke operates a department of transportation, and occasionally the city council hears a report from its transportation committee about this department (Jerry Mitchell, council member, handles that).
The city code allocates it the power to regulate vehicles for hire (cabs, haulers). The state possesses the antecedent authority. That one, too, is upon vehicles for hire on the people’s roads and highways, stewarded by state government.
Private users enter into the realm of taxation and permission under a presumption — an erroneous one, at at. This presumed and erroneous entry into the administrative realm is the trap that lets the police and courts grind upon the people with their criminal prosecutions for traveling infractions (“light law,” “keeping lane,” “driving on revoked,” “speeding”).
No one in state government has any desire to relieve them of this burden, or to tell the people they have no need to enter into the system to become motor carriers. It is a perfect — and profitable deception — and few see this arrangement as systemically unlawful or teleologically evil. It is so old it is culturally accepted as normative, a rite of passage for the young in their “getting their driver licenses.”
My transportation administrative notice project intends to bring racial justice and racial restoration into the state starting in Chattanooga and Hamilton County, where I live and work. Police and courts use the shipping and freight law to keep the judicial industrial complex — the jails, prisons, dockets, bondsmen, probation departments, food and phone feeder industries — rolling in the money.
During the CV-19 panic, Mayor Berke’s decree intensively targets people in the private sector who are not ordinarily subject, as I have argued, to the state’s police authority if they are not actually involved in the privileged activity of trucking. Mayor Berke, theoretically, can exercise that new power under emergency decree.
And Mr. Berke precisely identifies, with proper legal language, the activity at issue: Travel.
The mayor’s executive order intends to impose police power upon those parties not subject to the statute, on the grounds of the medical emergency of the CV-19 panic.
The state already has police power, via Title 55 and Title 65, motor carriers, to regulate trucking and shipping. These areas of the economy are explicitly allowed to be active and on the roadways. How else keep the Aldi’s, Food Cities, Wal-Marts, CVSes and other stores supplied with wipes, water and TP?