Watch LIVE

Horowitz: Courts: No right to property, but yes, right to welfare

Op-ed
DNY59/Getty Images

Two of the more indelible ways that the government has used COVID to create Venezuela-style Marxism are the CDC mandate prohibiting landlords from evicting residents and the massive unemployment welfare scheme that paid some people more to be unemployed than to work. Two court decisions governing the outcomes of each of these policies, when juxtaposed to one another, create a new paradigm in America: You have the right to welfare or to other people's property, but not a right to your own.

Last Tuesday, Justice Kavanaugh shockingly joined the four liberals on the Supreme Court in refusing to stay the CDC's moratorium on evictions. Kavanaugh indicated that the eviction moratorium is likely unlawful absent congressional approval, but noted that because it is set to expire on July 31, it wasn't worth placing an injunction on it, even though it's still in place and violating property rights.

The eviction moratorium was one of the most radical things done under the Trump administration, and it of course was continued by the Biden administration. And while this version of the order is set to expire next month, there is no guarantee they won't issue a new modified order.

Last September, the CDC decided that if it can control our breathing, it can control property rights as well and proceeded to bar landlords from evicting any family earning under $200,000 who didn't pay rent. So, despite handing out free money to everyone, including $600-$1,000 in unemployment benefits per week in some states, the government still put the onus on private landowners to eat the cost and retroactively shred their private contracts.

Thus, we have four or five justices who now believe that COVID allows the government to take away your property when the entire purpose of government is to protect private property from anarchy. You have no right to your property or to open a business, but someone else has a right to live on your property without paying.

Hold that thought for a moment, and now try to understand an order from an Indiana county judge attempting to force states to pay the exorbitantly high federal unemployment benefits, even though it's making it impossible for businesses to find workers willing to work. You see, while you don't have a right to own your rental, open a business, breathe freely, or decline an experimental injection, people have the right to unemployment welfare that stimulates unemployment.

Over the past few months, 26 states have ended one or all of the four federal pandemic unemployment programs established in the CARES Act. The programs add to the time and scope of who is eligible for the program, as well as adding an additional $300 a week to the base rate. On June 25, Marion County Superior Court Judge John Hanley placed a temporary injunction on Governor Eric Holcomb's order to pull out of the plan. Hanley states that the extra UI benefits were "instrumental in allowing Hoosiers to regain financial stability at an individual level while the state continues to face challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic during its return to normalcy."

How about the right to breathe normally? Isn't it interesting that the only injunctions the judges seem to issue are on policies that are well within the state's power, yet they are nowhere to be seen when plaintiffs need relief from the state assault on real inalienable rights.

Courts were supposed to serve as a shield for individual rights against actions taken against them by government, not as swords to secure entitlements from governments or even other individual landowners. "Mi casa es su casa" has now been enshrined as a legal theory!

What is truly astounding is that at a time when the courts are saying that a landlord with a single apartment doesn't have the freedom to deny service to someone who doesn't pay, a Florida judge ruled that the state can't punish monopolistic big tech companies that collude with government to deplatform anyone they disagree with. These companies have essentially taken over the equivalent of public roads for speech, yet they can, at the behest of government, deny anyone a platform who disagrees with the government line on masks and vaccines.

Also, last week, a federal judge in Indiana, appointed by Trump no less, placed a temporary injunction on Indiana's new law requiring abortion doctors to tell patients seeking an abortion about a new abortion reversal drug. Somehow it's not in state interest or power to disseminate information to save the unborn, but a state can not only spend taxpayer funding lying about the efficacy of masks and the safety of experimental vaccines, but downright mandating them on human bodies. And, of course, a mom-and-pop bakery or florist must serve an event that violates the owner's religious beliefs, and the state is somehow well within its powers to force that upon small business owners.

Taken as a whole, the courts have flipped fundamental rights and governmental powers upside down, inside out. As we celebrate the Declaration of Independence in this month of American pride and reflect upon the founding of this country, rooted in self-evident truths of inalienable rights, we must confront the jarring fact that we have competing views in this country that are irreconcilable with those self-evident truths. For how long can a house divided against itself stand?
Most recent
All Articles