Sir William Blackstone is often praised for laying the groundwork for American jurisprudence with his Commentaries on the Laws of England. Blackstone's Commentaries were one of the most widely read books in the colonies, and his views of the laws of England were often incorporated into the laws of America. One portion of Blackstone's Commentaries that has largely been forgotten by modern legal scholars but which played a significant role in forming the thought of founding fathers like James Wilson was Blackstone's answer to the question of where laws come from. What follows is a condensed version of Blackstone's somewhat loquacious answer to that question.
Yesterday, a lawsuit against Ivey's mask order was dismissed and subsequently appealed. Ivey attempted several interesting twists of the law in her defense, and one such twist that I find particularly disturbing is her claim that the Emergency Management Act gives her complete authority over the "conduct of civilians."
As more and more Republican voters have become disgusted with the effects of all the various coronavirus mandates, Trump's reelection team has been attempting to whitewash Trump's role in the shutdowns, social distancing policies, mask orders, and other less than popular policies that have been put in place during this crisis. In typical Trumpian fashion, the President's bootlickers are now claiming that the President was opposed to things like shutting down the economy, telling churches not to hold in-person services, separating workers into essential vs. non-essential categories, and so on. They're now claiming that evil Democrat governors came up with these ideas all on their own, and that Donald Trump has been fighting against them from the beginning.
On July 29, 2020, Governor Ivey issued her 15th Supplemental State of Emergency: Coronavirus Proclamation. In that order, Ivey invoked the Alabama Emergency Management Act to promulgate the amended “Order of the State Health Officer Suspending Certain Public Health Gatherings Due to Risk of Infection by COVID-19” as “an order, rule, or regulation under the applicable provisions of the Emergency Management Act. Ivey further ordered that the Health Officer’s order be enforced by the law-enforcing authorities of the state, that those who violate the order should be fined $500 or imprisoned, and that any provision of state law which conflicted with the order be suspended for the duration of the state of emergency.
It is my contention that this and all 14 previous proclamations promulgating orders from the Governor under the Alabama Emergency Management Act in response to the coronavirus are violations of Sections 21 and 43 of the Constitution of Alabama, 1901. Those sections declare:
Bill Fortenberry is a Christian philosopher and historian in Birmingham, AL. Bill's work has been cited in several legal journals, and he has appeared as a guest on shows including The Dr. Gina Show, The Michael Hart Show, and Real Science Radio.
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