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Many Voices, One Freedom: United in the 1st Amendment

February 28, 2024

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What do the Declaratory Act of 1766 and the Biden Administration’s assertion of lawful authority to mask your face have in common?

The pivotal event of the revolutionary period was the Declaratory Act of 1766. This declaration from the Crown, which accompanied the repeal of the stamp act, asserted British Parliament’s authority to make laws binding on the American Colonies “in all cases, whatsoever.” So, while making concessions to the growing ire of the colonists (provoked by increasingly aggressive taxation), the Crown had evidently felt the need to codify an otherwise useless assertion: 

Yeah, we’ll rescind this one, but we still own you.”

It’s important to note that in 1766, the colonists, who were indeed British subjects, had exercised the prerogatives of self-governance for at least 150 years. These people were seven generations deep into the “American Experiment” already and had built a thriving, self-governed society. The Crown offered little that the colonists were unable to do for themselves. Their irritative reaction to the Crown’s aggressive taxation, taking the forms of the Tea tax, the Stamp Act, Sugar Act, and others, were completely justified. For Parliament to pull back on some of these tax burdens while hardening its claim on complete authority to govern lives from across the sea was literally, insufferable. 

What emboldened the colonists to “take on” the world’s then sole military “superpower”?

Parliament had just told the American colonists that it owned them and intended to “take over from here.” And had that assertion of authority without consent gone unchallenged, the USA would never have come into being. Britain’s assertion would have been “ratified” by the simpering compliance of its subjects.   

FAST FORWARD to 2022

Our Federal government asserts a right to quarantine and otherwise mitigate the risk of contagious disease by virtue of action taken on people known or reasonably suspected to have a contagious disease that poses a substantial public health risk. For better or for worse, action in pursuit of this authority has, by now, unchallenged precedent.  

But with the emergence of Covid-19 in early 2020, an entirely unprecedented exercise of authority was seen.

Rather than action taken relative to INDIVIDUALS known or suspected to pose contagious danger, American governments at all levels mirrored foreign governments in asserting an “emergency” authorization to act on the entire general public without respect to health status.  

Media-stoked fear and preoccupation with the virus that permitted so malignant a proliferation of “Covidiocy” has since diminished. Effective legal challenges to both mask and vaccine mandates are being vigorously pursued.   

The CDC Order of 1/29/21 mandating masks for all passengers on public transportation was struck down by Judge Kathryn Mizellle on April 18, 2022, whose ruling observed that the CDC had abused a 1944 Public Health Sanitation Act in mandating masks for the entire population of public transit users. 

“Because ‘our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends, … the Court Declares unlawful and vacates the Mask Mandate,” Judge Mizelle wrote.  

Note that the ruling issued by Judge Mizelle on the 18th DID NOT say: 

“Mask mandates are no longer needed and should now be lifted.”

Nor did the ruling attribute its decision to any of these factors: 

  • a mild form of the present variant
  • the availability of therapeutics
  • reduction in c19 hospitalizations and deaths

The Judge ruled on the law, not the “present state of the pandemic” or the “effectiveness of masks in reducing viral transmission.” This ruling on the law found that the CDC exceeded its lawful authorization. 

Not surprisingly, the Biden Administration has appealed the ruling. By now, the virus has attenuated significantly, causing only a head cold. So their appeal cannot be justified by the intent to “save lives.” It is, admittedly, being pursued to restore “authorization” to similarly infringe on the general public in the future. Each new viral event would likely provoke a recurrence of the orders.

The statement released by the Biden Administration’s CDC requesting appeal begins, “In order to preserve CDC’s authority …(emphasis added). 

It did not read, “In order to protect public health…” or “In order to reduce risk….”  No. The phrase that offers the reason for requesting that the DOJ pursue an appeal doesn’t concern itself with public health at all. It is instead focused on the agency’s authority.  

Our founders showed us that a claim of authority to which We the People DID NOT CONSENT, must be challenged. Our methods today may not involve muskets and militias. But they’d best be backed by the same convictions and the same pledge to ourselves, our children, and to each other.  

The preservation of Liberty requires nothing less than a pledge of our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. 

MANY VOICES, ONE FREEDOM: UNITED IN THE 1ST AMENDMENT

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