Gov. Bill Lee acts today to assert total control of the economy in the state by pivoting the state’s quarantine law — directed against the sick — upon those who show no evidence of having the flu, especially the novel virus known as CV-19 that has put the world into a panic.
The governor, viewing cellphone data mined for travel and transportation patterns, says he the people in the state weren’t taking his earlier advisory executive order seriously.
So he announced that he is turning an advisory into an edict.
“I have updated my previous executive order to clearly require that Tennesseans stay at home unless they are carrying out essential activities. *** Every Tennessean must take this seriously, remain at home and ensure we save lives.”
He was influenced by many advisors who rejected his earlier respect for the personal liberties of the people and the state’s widely recognized free market orientation. In particular, he appears to have heard one of the loudest proponents of the penal concept, a Franklin pulmonary physician, Aaron Milstone.
The pressure on the governor to abandon goodwill and civic-mindedness among the citizenry as a barrier to the spread of Flu 19 was intense. Dr. Milstone was not alone in hanging upon the neck of Gov. Lee and dragging him under the waves of absolute state action. Bill Frist, a doctor and former federal senator, is the big name among 2,000 doctors calling for a mandatory rule evidenced in EO-23, an amendment to his earlier 12-page voluntary order with a detailed appendix of “approved businesses.”
The governor acts openly in violation of state law at § 68-1-201 that says his “commissioner shall prepare and carry into effect such rules and regulations as, in the commissioner’s judgment, will, with the least inconvenience to commerce and travel, prevent the spread of the disease.”
Gov. Lee’s order promises to stifle commerce and thwart travel, both private travel by right and for-profit travel under state privilege via the motor vehicle statute. The use of police power and courts would be limited to those determined to be ill, or connected to an ill person, or arriving in the state from an area known for contagion (New York).
Widespread ruin ordained
The order effectively suspends constitutional rights without authority and imprisons millions of people in their houses and apartment complexes while shutting down the companies that employ them.
The 62-page authorization in the Tennessee code annotated § Title 58 does not grant that power. Gov. Lee is bound by his oath before God to uphold the constitution, which protects the people individually in their liberties and rights.
The citizenry would be wise to assume, however, that the governor has not suspended the constitution, and assert his or her rights as if still protected in his liberty. Only by the assertion of rights to they exist; rights are not self-executing. They must be, legally speaking, belligerently asserted in person to be brought into view.
In rejecting a biblical and constitutional perspective, Gov. Lee acts in such a way as to allow warrantless arrests, warrantless seizures, and an elimination of standard protections such as probable cause in encounters between state accusers (the police, sheriff’s deputies and highway patrol officers).
Such fruit of his order may not be intended, but that is what likely will prevail as the days progress, and as the crisis is drawn out and drawn out — because security is never quite reached, and officials’ fiduciary duty never seems quite likely to be met — and the time of emergency is likely to be prolonged.
If police are free to stop people apart from probable cause or the lesser standard, articulable suspicion, there is no defense against criminal accusation. The order ratifies existing practice among police, to run their safety shows under general warrants, which are outlawed in the state bill of rights, section 7, as “dangerous to liberty and ought not be granted.”
Gov. Lee’s executive order does not contain sanctions, but officials in Dyer County, in far western Tennessee, say that anyone who disobeys their executive order commits a misdemeanor crime with a one-year jail term and F$2,500 in fines.
The shift from liberty to totalitarian control departicularizes the state’s commercial law enforcement operation vis a vis individuals.
No longer does the state have to deal with individuals individually, but operates upon the people as an indistinguishable plastic mass, under general warrant, and subject to imperious and summary commands from state commissioners on down to local deputies and assistant mayors.
The biblical ethic that underlies American common law and much of which exists in the criminal statutes in Tennessee forbids such treatment by the magistrate, as kings and governors are called in Romans 13. Its judicial ethical argument requires entirely personal treatment, with the magistracy passive in outlook and set into action by either crime or tort.
As Dr. Daniel O’Roark of Northeast Tennessee notes, the underlying religious principle of governments worldwide in dealing with Flu 19 is atheistic materialism. There is no God; men are purely biological beings. Soul and personal individual genius are discounted, and society is thus subject to social engineering and manipulative management by elites.
Due process rights are impossible to maintain under such a premise.
The collapse of the state’s economy has already begun, and promises to bring thousands of people to emotional and psychological breaking points, and hundreds of thousands of people into insolvency. The state GDP was $355.75 billion in 2018, says the U.S. department of commerce.
The collapse caused by Gov. Lee’s response to CV-19 accelerates a broader caving-in of the national economy, held aloft by a field of debt bubbles that are an essential feature of fiat currency and financial cartelization of the upper echelons of the economy. But these bubbles are are getting red-faced, and are popping. The Fed promises to generate F$1 trillion in fresh debt daily to prop up the system, which relies on inflation and public confidence to survive.
With mass joblessness, and men and women humiliated by lack of cash and nothing to do, civil society is ripe for private violence. Traffic stops, roadblocks, mass arrests, the possible need for county concentration camps for arrestees if cop cajolery wears thin and “enforcement” of edicts becomes the best option — these prospects bode for an ugly two first two weeks of the Tennessee lockdown.
Probably 60 percent of Americans have less than F$500 cash reserves as savings, and are readily put into distress.
Killings and woundings among distressed individuals may spill out against officers, as well, men and women hired by cities and counties as law enforcement employees. Many Tennesseans go about armed, and no doubt some will pose a danger to officers who are “just doing their jobs” violating the constitutional rights of the citizenry.
Officers will continue to violate Tenn. Code Ann. § Title 55, the motor vehicle statute, and will probably assert the power to stop people without the need of having a “transportation safety” pretext. This abuse and its safety rationale has served well for decadesj with consent of the state supreme court. Officers will continue to violate Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-7-103, grounds for arrest by officer without a warrant, and will persist with on-the-spot arrests in violation of due process. This practice is not upheld by the courts, to which their attention has not been brought by appeal.
Only now the causes for sweeps of members of the public will be not crimes, but disobedience to “laws” declared and invented by officers, their supervisors and local governments. In rural districts such as Lawrence County in midstate, due process is routinely ignored in virtually every detail, so we can assume terror by policing will be the much greater, as the people’s ignorance is there deeper.
The government can be expected to ignore the legal protocols required to convict a noncompliant sick person who, if convicted, can be ordered into quarantine. These provisions are found in the tuberculosis section of the law. They are not repeated in the quarantine statute, because the protocol is part of the state’s longstanding legal due process customs.