Governors Can’t Use Coronavirus To Indefinitely Declare A State Of Emergency


Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia often noted that the primary safeguard of our constitutional liberties is the structure of our government. Every banana republic has a bill of rights, he once said, but the strength of the American system is the separation of powers.

At the federal level, there are three separate, co-equal branches of government that must operate together for our representative republic to function properly, and this balance of power is mirrored at the state level. Unhappily, our system today is not functioning as designed.

Since March, the separation of powers has been off-kilter, shifted disproportionately to state executives, who are ruling outside the boundaries of their proper authority. In a moment of national panic, Americans permitted their state and local executives to take power—to declare states of emergency and to implement lockdowns—and now those executives won’t give that power back.

Legally, the executives are operating pursuant to their “emergency powers.” Executives are often authorized to declare a state of emergency, which activates emergency plans that the state and its localities have prepared, and transfers significant control to the governor. Although it varies by state, this authority is typically quite broad.

If you examine any of the lockdown or mandatory masking orders, you will largely see a relatively formulaic approach. First, the edict will recite the facts that support the claim there is an ongoing catastrophe, then it will list the legal authority, and finally the resulting mandates.

For example, in Virginia, when Gov. Ralph Northam issued his masking order, he called upon the powers vested in him by Article V of the Virginia Constitution, then pointed to § 44-146.17 of the Virginia Code. That’s the meat of the matter. That section of the code spells out the scope of the state executive’s authority during an emergency. read more

12 Comments on Governors Can’t Use Coronavirus To Indefinitely Declare A State Of Emergency

  1. Oregon Supreme Court hand-picked by Gov Carpet Muncher sides with Gov to continue violating State Constitution; color me shocked.

  2. “..Once the executive has taken the power and the people have acquiesced, it requires a much more forceful and unified resistance to roll back the overreach…It is high time to end the tyranny of the executives.”

    Not yet, if ever, reaching the willingness to use the force necessary is the crux of the matter.

    The government doesn’t what much, if anything, about the American Revolution taught in schools for a reason. That generation was willing to use the necessary required force against the established government. They’d rather the people not know about it, and possibly ponder doing the same thing.

    If the next election sends the forceful message – enough is enough, terrific. If not, I guess we’ll find out if the will to reject tyranny, and the know-how to successfully do it still lives. A tough job because – Right now we have two groups of wannabe tyrants; the nutjob rioters & those who are funding them, plus the face mask nazis (who are sure they’re doing the right thing) along with our governors and big-city mayors.

  3. In places like You Nork State
    despots like
    Andy Goo – Ahh – Moe
    want to have an eternal state of emergency
    to justify their dictatorship.

    And always remember
    the smellocrats are the


  4. I hope-n-pray tar and feathers make a come back on Nov 4th because this crap is NOT going to stop, EVER until the anti-american commies are hung from light poles in every town, city, and state in the union.

    The tar and feathers is the last wake up call before the bullets begin to fly in earnest and instead of being aimed at nobody peons they will be aimed at the self appointed diktaters and their enablers that pretend to be our leaders.

  5. No one has the guts to stop any of this. This is how the greatest nation of all time ends, “not with a bang but a whimper”.

  6. Maybe they “can’t” but they will unless and until some higher and more powerful authority intervenes to stop them.

  7. What we tolerate – we get.
    If Americans are willing to be slaves, then slaves we will be.
    When Americans decide to re-assert their sovereignty, they will be sovereign.
    When Americans wake up enough to see the depth and breadth of this Wuhan Flu hoax, they will slough it off as a bad dream and rectify the political situation.

    “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time – but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
    To which I would add: “You can fool all of the fools all of the time.”

    Don’t be a fool.
    WAKE UP!
    Save America from nihilist, totalitarianism, fascism, socialism, or whatever else you want to call it.

    We got enough fools – we need more Americans.

    izlamo delenda est …

  8. We are screwed in Maine. A Federal judge dismissed the lawsuit brought against General Mills for her unconstitutional overreach. He even scolded the plaintiff for having the nerve to bring the lawsuit. A Bush/ Trump appointee too. But Maine lawyers and judges all know each other and it’s a vipers’ nest.
    We have had 6 or 7 deaths in a month. Mostly people in their 80’s and 90’s. We have 8 people in the hospital statewide. Yet after General Mills was caught in 2 places without a mask she dictated mandatory masks and it’s still going on. (I refuse. I just tell them I have a condition.)
    She still has extreme limits on businesses and is still gunning for Ric Savage of Sunday River Brewing. Took his liquor license on Friday.
    She has admitted she is trying to get more taxpayer money and that’s why she keeps us shut down. To hell with those business owners who are losing everything they have and to heck with the employees. To heck with the entire tourism business. She is purposely destroying lives.
    Sadly, most of Southern Maine is extreme leftists and they are more than happy to have the government ruling us like serfs.
    Like I said, we are screwed.

  9. On Sunday, I signed a petition to put a question on the November ballot in Michigan to eliminate the 1943 law that gives the governor these “emergency powers” without approval from the state congress. Each and every “rule, demand, executive order and petulant slap down of the citizens” must be brought before congress for their approval.

    Right now, our state congress has a Republican majority that have tried to get her tyranny under control. That just made her mad and she is taking it out on us.

  10. @Claudia, Maine’s Legislature voted to give Mills emergency powers. But all the way through Jan 15, 2011!!!
    So that may not do much good in the long run.
    They won’t reconvene because the Dems have about $400 million in spending bills and more regulations all set to pass as they have majorities in all 3 branches.
    The sad thing is that the longer this goes on the more compliant people are becoming.

  11. New Mexico’s Governor is already suggesting we keep all public health policies in place to fight influenza etc. This is definitely not just ending on Nov 3rd or whatever day the election is settled. This is going to be a fight. And does anyone even realize not one mask mandate has been repealed?! And sadly no one seems interested in even pushing back anymore let alone fighting for any freedom.


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