The first executive order from Gov. Bill Lee on the viral infection called CV-19 contains the air of dread that pervaded Tennessee government as the media-fed global panic accelerated in late March.
Order No. 14, dully titled “An order suspending provisions of certain statutes and rules in order to facilitate the treatment and containment of Covid-19,” appears to contain none of the elements required in statute to evoke the governor’s police powers under quarantine.
Gov. Lee has, in fact, imposed the quarantine/police power upon the 6.8 million people in the state under the emergency law, which abrogates the constitution and has sunk the state’s economy into its worst depression since its founding June 1, 1796. This parallel and illicit “quarantine power” operates upon the healthy — not upon the sick — and is a violation of oath of office, a violation of constitutional guarantees, and is either a mass tort, a mass nuisance under state or a civil violation of U.S.C. Title 42 § 1982, civil action for deprivation of rights.
Gov. Lee has ignored powers evocable following a proper research and review of the CV-19 virus. He is using police power and threat instead based on seven words and a period in the emergency statute at Tenn. Code Ann. § Title 58, those words being “with the force and effect of law.” ‡ By that phrase, Gov. Lee pretends that an emergency widens his powers to cover all the people. However, all that an emergency declaration does at law is deepen those powers downward, to force bureaucracy to operate more efficiently, with less drag and delay during a time of emergency or crisis.
Gov. Lee is pretending to have mass legislative powers upon the people, and he is deceiving the people and the government about those powers. That means he is lying to the people and to the other branches of government about what he is doing, and what he has done.
Does EO 14 come close to legal standard?
The March 12 executive order is the first among several, the most important one being No. 23, that of April 2, the “stay-at-home” order that shut down the state’s economy and compelled people to halt worship, personal and private service, mercy and charity labors, visiting the sick, visiting prisoners, entrepreneurship, travel, commerce and usual life. The thunderclap command mimicked those imposed by governors, mayors and dictators worldwide.
The key question is: Did the governor meet his duty to identify the cause of the epidemic? And do his published rationales come close to suggesting Gov. Lee had a lawful basis upon which to act? Or is his public safety show a magic show of capricious and arbitrary acts that are outlaw in American jurisprudence?
➤ Gov. Lee says CV-19 is “a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-Co V-2 virus.”
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-Co V-2 virus that can result in mild or severe symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and can lead to serious illness or death, particularly in the case of older adults and persons with serious chronic medical conditions.
The order says CV-19 is “frequently spread through close contact between persons and respiratory transmission.”
What follows is a narrative that justifies the emergency orders.
➤ Included is reference to an outbreak in Wuhan, China, “and this disease has since spread to many other countries”; CDC data on deaths to that date (29 deaths among “938 cases of COVID-190”; two entries regarding actions by the health department and formation of a task force; and the stating of the March 4 date of the state’s first CV-19 case:
[O]n March 4, 2020, the first case of COVID-19 in the State of Tennessee was identified, and several additional confirmed or presumptively positive cases of COVID-19 have since been identified in Tennessee;
Gov Lee says the first case “was identified” and “several additional confirmed or presumptively positive cases” have been identified.
➤ The order continues onto its second of five pages. It refers to the World Health Organization’s declaration of “an outbreak” of a “global pandemic.” The EO cites a Jan. 31 statement by federal secretary of health and human services declaring “a public health emergency” to “aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19.”
➤ Other states have declared health emergencies, Gov. Lee says, and the
spread and identification of additional cases of COVID-19 in Tennessee is likely to continue, and therefore, taking proactive steps to prevent a substantial risk to public health and safety is paramount.
➤ He cites the emergency statute upon which his whole health and safety theater has been run — with the people wearing their tickets on their chins.
Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 58-2-107(e)(l), provides that during a state of emergency, the Governor is authorized to “[s]uspend any law, order, rule or regulation prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business or the orders or rules or regulations of any state agency, if strict compliance with any such law, order, rule, or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency
➤ With a final “whereas,” Gov. Lee declares a state of emergency “to facilitate the response” to CV-19, launching the Tennessee emergency management plan with Dr. Lisa Piercey of the health department doing part, and TEMA doing the rest.
Why bypass concentration camp law?
Gov. Lee does not “evoke” the powerful authority for quarantine in Title 68, one so great it lets him build concentration camps in Tennessee to corral the sick.
He ignores this law except for three minor points on which he lightens the bureaucratic load such legal systems impose upon privileges and licenses.
The order’s six references to Title 68 are on tinkerings of state review authority. Gov. Lee —
➤ Frees “health care professionals who would otherwise be subject to licensing requirements to provide localized treatment of patients in temporary residences.”
➤ Relieves out-of-state health care workers of routine licensing requirements
➤ Relaxes rules on building of temporary buildings “for which would otherwise be subject to review.”
Here is the controlling authority that Gov. Lee appears to have ignored in running his health drama by emergency fiat.
a)(1) It is the duty of the local health authorities, on receipt of a report of a case, or suspected case, of disease declared to be communicable, contagious, or one which has been declared by the commissioner of health to be subject to isolation or quarantine, to confirm or establish the diagnosis, to determine the source or cause of the disease and to take such steps as may be necessary to isolate or quarantine the case or premise upon which the case, cause or source may be found, as may be required by the rules and regulations of the state department of health. (emphasis added) Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-5-104 (West)
The essential elements to make the health emergency lawful (and protective of the rights, commerce, travel and pleasures of the people) are missing in Gov. Lee’s actions, which are subject to this law. To break down § 68-5-104, we see the following:
➤ A “finding” of a local case
➤ A declaration of the case “to be communicable, contagious”
➤ A declaration by the health commissioner of a disease or condition “to be subject to isolation or quarantine”
➤ A confirmation of a diagnosis
➤ A “[determination of] the source or cause of the disease”
Whence due process?
These are the statutory bases of the governor’s declaring a health emergency. Has the Lee administration does this labor?
Do these due process steps exist?
The law contains the people’s protection. Without these steps, the governor could say, “The sky is falling and I want you to hand over all your land and property to me to stop it” or “We are under an alien invasion, and by Saturday at 2:02 p.m. we all have to gather in a two-mile square piece of land in the center of the state or we will be obliterated by an intergalactic EMP.”
Without the § 68-5-104 requirements, we are under a monarchial absolutism without verifiable proofs of the alleged necessity that is his claim to authority.
Our due process rights reside in and are protected by in these requirements. They force the governor to do his homework, do his research, and act to protect us from a health threat.
If he hasn’t done his homework — if he hasn’t obeyed the law, then the ruin of the state’s economy and the millions of instances of irreparable personal injury and damage is done apart from the operation of law, apart from the concern for justice and righteousness. All the damage to the state and its people outlined in the legislative intent section of the emergency statute is done not by the external emergency, but by the state itself, by the governor himself and his agents and accomplices. ‡‡
Tennessee has entered into a nightmare caused not by a DNA-altered variant in Flu Season 2020.
It is the political hierarchy, the elected officials and the hirelings who have fled when the wolf came. The wolf crept closer, and rather than fight for the flock, the hirelings have taken to safety and abandoned the people to local terrors in the form of city and county mayors, sheriff’s departments, police departments and local corporation bean counters and enforcers, all acting arbitrarily and under color of law. The protectors have fled; the hired hands have joined in the decimation of wealth, hope and personal life statewide.
It’s up to the people to fight for their rights and to help restore a republican form of government under the constitution. Either that or forces of violence and bloodletting will take over as people, at their wit’s end, make clear they “can’t take it anymore.”
‡ Such executive orders, proclamations, and rules have the force and effect of law. Tenn. Code Ann. § 58-2-107(a)(2)
‡‡ Here is legislative intent in the creation of TEMA:
(a) Because of the existing and continuing possibility of the occurrence of emergencies and disasters resulting from natural, technological, or manmade causes, including acts of terrorism and the recovery therefrom; in order to ensure that preparations of this state will be adequate to deal with, reduce vulnerability to, and recover from such emergencies and disasters; to provide for the common defense and to protect the public peace, health, and safety; and to preserve the lives and property of the people of the state, it is hereby found and declared to be necessary to *** ETC. (emphasis added) Tenn. Code Ann. § 58-2-103 (West)