The abuses of Tennesseans under Republican Gov. Bill Lee put the people into a teachable moment about the nature of government in the American system, and how they must reframe their relations with the state, assuming they don’t opt for a revolt and overthrow it.
The nature is in many ways biblical in origin, and that is their rights come from God, are unalienable, are guaranteed by the constitution, and inhere in them as men and women made in God’s image. The role of federal, state and local government is to protect these rights and liberties, and to afford the people protection from pillage, fraud, rape, violence and other forms of public sin, also known as crime, or torts.
Gov. Lee’s announced a ban Sunday on gatherings of more than 10 people in violation of their constitutional right of free assembly, though he says he worship services are not “social gatherings” under his purported limit.
Despite the growth of the state in all its forms to the point of our choking on it here at the end of 2020, the concept of liberty remains firm in American jurisprudence and law.
My petition for writ of mandamus in Hamilton County chancery court is premised on these distinctions that hold state power limited, and the rights of the people extensive and virtually unlimited.
Despite unjust judge Pamela Fleenor in chancery court, I argue the governor cannot have a state of emergency without first obeying the health law dealing with contagions, epidemics and quarantine. The governor has overthrown the government by creating a unitary administrative medical police state in which he, the governor, legislates the mores and ways of the people during “a pandemic,” as he calls it.
An antidote to his sort of thinking is drawn from a famous court ruling that tells the people they should have backbone to stand up against tyranny because it is right to have backbone, and it is right to know that the “rights of the individual are not derived from governmental agencies, either municipal, state or federal, or even from the Constitution.”
City of Dallas v. Mitchell’s choice words
City of Dallas v. Mitchell (245 S.W. 944, Tex. Civ. App. 1922, decided Dec. 22, 1922) is a zoning case in which the use of land is an issue, and whether the owner must be subject to public authority for its private use privately.
The present ordinance in its ultimate effect and in its final analysis violates both the inherent and constitutional right of a citizen to use his own property as he sees fit, so long as it does not interfere with the rights of others.
It [ the ordinance ] is an abuse of the police power of the state. It invades the fundamental liberties of the citizen. It is not founded on public necessity, nor does the proposed use of the building endanger the public safety, health, morals, or welfare.
Therefore such ordinance cannot stand. Should a building of the kind in question be put to an improper and unlawful use after its erection, such use can be prevented by application of the proper legal remedies. As the ordinance in question is void, the trial court did not err in granting the writs of mandamus and injunction and its judgment is therefore affirmed.
**** Our theory of government and governmental powers is wholly at variance with that urged by appellant herein. The rights of the individual are not derived from governmental agencies, either municipal, state or federal, or even from the Constitution.
They exist inherently in every man, by endowment of the Creator, and are merely reaffirmed in the Constitution, and restricted only to the extent that they have been voluntarily surrendered by the citizenship to the agencies of government.
The people’s rights are not derived from the government, but the government’s authority comes from the people. The Constitution but states again these rights already existing, and when legislative encroachment by the nation, state, or municipality invade these original and permanent rights, it is the duty of the courts to so declare, and to afford the necessary relief.
The fewer restrictions that surround the individual liberties of the citizen, except those for the preservation of the public health, safety, and morals, the more contented the people and the more successful the democracy.