Our Civil Rights Are Under Assault By Our Own Leaders
By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. May 3, 2020
Neither governors nor local officials have the legal authority to shut down businesses, to quarantine healthy people, or to deny their unalienable – God given – rights to assembly or travel or religious worship.
Neither can they force us to wear masks or social distance. Big businesses, liquor stores, and abortion clinics have been allowed to remain open while small businesses have been forced to shut down.
We have allowed our businesses to be shut down and to be imprisoned in our homes for weeks by not striking back as has Shelley Luther, owner of Salon a la Mode in Dallas, Texas. She is exhibiting a proud display of civil disobedience in the face of unconstitutional arrest, jail, and a heavy fine for daring to reopen her business, unconstitutionally deemed non-essential by the governor.
We are allowing the government to usurp our religious freedom with stringent restrictions on in-person services, a Constitutional violation of our First Amendment which has no restrictions on worship.
Governor Greg Abbott’s proclamations and their force of law are a masquerade – a violation of the Texas Constitution. He claims authorization under the Texas Disaster Act of 1975, codified in Chapter 418 of the Texas Government Code, Section 418.012 – “executive orders, proclamations, and regulations” issued under that chapter have “the force and effect of law.”
That is unconstitutional! In our Constitutional Republic, laws are not issued by a governor or local official but are made only by the legislature.
As cover for his unconstitutional actions, Abbott refers to the Tex. Gov. Code § 418.016 – the governor may suspend “certain laws and rules” during a declared disaster. Yet according to Article I, Sec. 28 of the Texas Bill of Rights, only the legislature – not the governor – can suspend laws.
Even though Article III, Sec. 62 of the Texas Constitution does allow for temporary suspensions of the regular order, it explicitly states that the Bill of Rights cannot be suspended. Texas’ Bill of Rights in Article I, Sec. 29 specifically states that the rights of citizens cannot be deprived by our state government – life, liberty, property, privileges, or immunities – except by due course of law. We have the right to assemble, freedom to worship, and freedom of speech. We even have the right to go to the beach or the park.
No state statute or proclamation can empower government officials with the power to violate our civil rights. State statutes that violate our Texas Constitution and Bill of Rights MUST BE STRUCK DOWN!!
There is a clear difference between authority and power. Government officials have seized power to control the people even though they don’t have the legal authority to do it. They are creating fear through a virus to hold onto that illegal power.
To stop this massive illegal grab of power by tyrants to take away the civil rights of Americans, we must have ongoing large protests and we must educate the people about our unalienable rights and the limitations on government power.
This is what successfully drove the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and that is what will stop and end forever this nationwide draconian abuse of our unalienable civil rights.