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Horowitz: It’s time for state constitutional amendments against bio-fascist government mandates

Op-ed
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"No earthly king or president or public health official or billionaire technocrat gets to dictate what we must put into our bodies.” ~Rev. Ed Meeks, Towson, Maryland

Outside a few states, no Republican-controlled government has even repudiated the current iteration of COVID fascism, much less immunized the population from future usurpations. Over the past 20 months, the governing elites have successfully established a premise that they can shout “public health emergency” and mandate any form of restriction or action against your body, property, or movement without any due process, transparency, evidentiary standards, oversight, or democratic process. The lesson of the past year is that no such morality or science could ever necessitate such an outcome.

Undoubtedly, Republicans can run Mickey Mouse on the ballot in every state and win big in next year’s midterm elections. But on which principles are they running? Absent an effort to direct the national election towards the raging fire consuming liberty and medical freedom, we will elect the same Republicans who not only fail to put out this fire, but actually add their own lighter fluid against liberty, as most of them agree with Anthony Fauci and company and most aspects of public health tyranny. What if we pursued a national strategy of state constitutional amendments placed on the ballot in as many red states as possible prohibiting bio-medical tyranny and immunizing us from any future attempt to resurrect it?

While it’s nearly impossible to add amendments to the national Constitution, many state constitutions can be amended by some quorum of legislators, a ballot initiative, or a mixture of both. If Republicans in deep red states (and even some swing states) were forced to take a stand, it is quite achievable to successfully get an amendment on the ballot in many states affirming the right to bodily integrity, property, and freedom of movement. It’s time for voters to finally have their say on the most consequential question of our time, if not the entire existence of this country.

One great example of such an effort is Pennsylvania HB 2013, authored by Rep. Russ Diamond. The proposed state constitutional amendment, which is sponsored by 20 Republicans and already passed the relevant House committee, creates a right to medical freedom with the following language:

The right of an individual to refuse any medical procedure, treatment, injection, vaccine or prophylactic may not be questioned or interfered with in any manner. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged to any person in this Commonwealth because of the exercise of the right under this section.

This is a simple proposition we should all agree upon as a free country and indeed never had to contemplate until now. But absent an effort to promote this in as many states as possible, we literally are no longer a free people.

To be clear, this is not about creating a right to a treatment or services (such as an abortion), but freedom from government action taken against our bodies. As Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his famous Obergefell dissent: “In the American legal tradition, liberty has long been understood as individual freedom from governmental action, not as a right to a particular governmental entitlement.”

The freedom to breathe and move without government requiring injections or that we cover our breathing holes is the most basic expression of liberty. If Republicans running for office this election cannot rally behind this simple proposition, then all their platitudes about “limited government” are meaningless. Placing such an amendment on the ballot in as many states as possible will make it hard for weaselly Republicans to dodge COVID fascism as a campaign issue and make this issue front and center in every campaign.

In Pennsylvania itself, it is not possible to get the amendment on the ballot for this election because state law requires any amendment proposal pass in two successive legislative sessions. However, Republicans control both houses in 32 states, many of them with supermajorities, that can easily be harnessed to get these amendments on the ballot for the upcoming election. Moreover, a number of states give voters the power to initiate constitutional amendment ballot questions by gathering signatures and completely bypassing the legislature. According to Ballotpedia, the list includes:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota

Also, even in the states where there is no viable path to a legislative or initiative-based constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot, several states do allow a right to initiate a ballot question that is a statutory change. They include Alaska, Idaho, and Maine. It’s still important to codify into statute that no government can take away your life, liberty, and property or freedom of movement for a declared emergency.

The Pennsylvania legislature will convene for three days in December, and it’s important for House majority leader Kerry Benninghoff to schedule a vote on this matter immediately. This is the most effective way to bypass the Democrat governor, take the issue directly to the people, and define the election around the most meaningful messaging and policy.

It is shocking that 20 months into the most deadly and devastating form of fascism ever in American history, numerous Republican states still have not lifted a finger to fight COVID fascism, despite enjoying supermajorities. With 39-11 and 71-29 majorities in the Senate and House respectively, Indiana Republicans couldn’t even end the unlawful emergency declaration from RINO Gov. Eric Holcomb, much less pass any protections against mandates, during last week’s special session.

Sadly, we should not even need constitutional amendments to affirm bare-bones human rights during a time of a declared emergency. As the great Justice Robert Jackson said in the landmark Youngstown case of 1952, “Aside from suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in time of rebellion or invasion, when the public safety may require it, they made no express provision for exercise of extraordinary authority because of a crisis.”

“They knew what emergencies were, knew the pressures they engender for authoritative action, knew, too, how they afford a ready pretext for usurpation,” wrote Jackson. “We may also suspect that they suspected that emergency powers would tend to kindle emergencies.”

Justice Jackson, aside from being the lead dissenter in the Japanese internment case, was the lead prosecutor at the Nuremberg trial. The time has come for a political party and movement to arise that will rekindle the liberty, due process, and anti-fascism that successfully punished the perpetrators of bio-medical experimentation at Nuremberg and harness them once again in our time.
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