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Horowitz: Powerful interstate law-making group planning agreement among governors to codify lockdown powers into law
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Horowitz: Powerful interstate law-making group planning agreement among governors to codify lockdown powers into law

One would think we’d already be on to the stage of trials and tribunals against those governors who illegally violated human rights under the guise of false law and science. Instead, even as the WHO is trying to concoct a pandemic treaty, state governments might be on the cusp of a unified policy across states to empower governors to formally codify emergency “public health” authoritarianism. Worse, they seek to remove from citizens the legal avenues to sue these state governments, leaving us subject to the capricious whims of the permanent biomedical security state.

There is no formally binding law that requires states to synergize their emergency powers or other policies, but the Chicago-based non-profit Uniform Law Commission has served the role of streamlining unified legislation among the states. The group’s recommendations are obviously not binding, but their model legislation is taken very seriously and often unanimously supported by legislatures without a second thought. Since its founding in 1892, the group has done good work to maintain stable and uniform laws across the states that allow for seamless, uninterrupted commerce through universally accepted statutory schemes. The organization has drafted and overseen passage and maintenance of staples of state commerce and reciprocity in law, such as the Uniform Commercial Code, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, and the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act.

As you can tell, the organization’s leaders seek uniformity of law among the states. Often, uniformity is helpful and necessary, such as with financial transactions. But when it comes to tyrannical mandates on human life, the last thing you want is uniformity. But that’s not the way some at the ULC see it. They look back at COVID and draw the exact opposite conclusion as most sane Americans. They believe that the state policies weren’t heavy-handed enough, at least not in a uniform way, and now they seek to synchronize lockdown laws throughout the states.

Former Atlantic reporter David Zweig broke a story last week revealing that since 2021, the ULC has been drafting the Model Public-Health-Emergency Authority Act. The act is brilliantly drafted in a way that appears as though it is forcing the governor to share his unlimited power, but in fact writes into law a de facto green light for permanent emergency declarations with an unlimited scope of authority to repeat everything state governors and localities did to you in 2020.

Specifically, it grants governors the ability to declare an emergency for 90 days. Right off the bat, that gives the impression that the declaration is finite and limited. However, it applies “no limit on the number of times the [governor] may renew an initial or previously renewed declaration of a public-health emergency,” in periods of 90 days (Section 4). All he needs to do is ensure that the legislature can come into session and that he notifies lawmakers of his intent. Cleverly and deviously, the model uniform legislation ensures that ultimately the governor’s extension is not subject to the actual support of the legislature, but just that lawmakers be made aware of it. Furthermore, the governor is allowed to restart a similar subsequent emergency declaration if the previous one expired less than 15 days before.

What is the scope of power during the statutorily codified indefinite time frame of emergency authority? Here are some examples:

  • “acquisition, stockpiling, commandeering, management, distribution, or use of drugs, devices, equipment, or tests”;
  • “testing, isolation, quarantine, movement, gathering, evacuation, or relocation of individuals”;
  • “surveillance, monitoring, or assessment of the public-health emergency or any of its effects”;
  • “suspension of a provision of any statute, order, rule, or regulation if strict compliance would hinder efforts to respond to the public-health emergency or pose hardship or undue risk for compliance”;
  • “access to and security of electronic communication in support of activities, including commerce, employment, education, notifications, and warnings”;

In other words, these are essentially martial law powers that are unlimited in scope and time.

Also, notice the emergency authority is not limited to a pandemic but to a “public health emergency.” Obviously, that could be used for weather-related incidents, assertions of climate change, or really anything the political class says could harm your health. And Section 6 of the bill states the governor “may issue any order to eliminate, reduce, contain, or mitigate an effect of the public-health emergency.” Issuing “any order” to “mitigate” the “effect” of what he deems to be a “public health emergency” is as unlimited as can be.

So, what we fear at the global level is actually being concocted right here in the United States through the most respected organization responsible for drafting interstate legislative ideas.

The shocking punch line of the bill is to strip the citizen of any redress in court. Under current law, the onus of proof is on the government to demonstrate that what officials are doing is a vital state interest and is the most narrowly tailored way of achieving that interest before they can abridge a fundamental right. Under Section 10 of the draft, however, “The burden of demonstrating the invalidity of the declaration or all or part of the order is on the party asserting invalidity.”

The bill narrowly defines the scope of judicial review and makes it clear that any ruling against the governor must be limited to the governor misinterpreting or capriciously applying the law, not against the constitutionality of the governor’s order. In other words, this bill strips you of all constitutional rights.

Finally, even if the judge rules in favor of the citizen seeking redress, “the court may delay temporarily setting aside the declaration or all or part of the order.” In other words, the judge could say, “sure, the governor is acting lawlessly, but these are tough times, so the policy will remain in place.”

Here is a list of those involved in drafting this bill and promoting the idea:

The ULC plans to vote on this bill in its upcoming conference in July. Obviously, such a vote is not binding on the states, but it will have the effect of flooding all the states with this draft proposal under the respected letterhead of the ULC. As I reported regarding the draft bill from the ULC’s Uniform Commerce Commission paving the way for a centralized digital currency, most conservative legislators never think to question a bill from the ULC. If not for the heroic work of the South Dakota Freedom Caucus, which pressured Gov. Kristi Noem to veto the bill in South Dakota, every red state would have adopted it.

This is why we need to raise awareness of this percolating menace as early as possible to every legislator, particularly in the red states. Thankfully, some red states have moved in the opposite direction and have limited emergency powers, but most states have not done enough. We need draft legislation to limit emergency powers to no more than 20 days and condition the renewal upon the affirmative support of the legislature. Moreover, the scope of those powers cannot include mandates on individual liberties, bodily autonomy, and property rights.

Thus far, we have done nothing to stop the continued blitz of more rushed vaccines, including the RSV shots and yet another COVID booster for the fall. Can we at least put the brakes on the lockdown fascism? Or are we content with history repeating itself?

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