Commentary

Coronavirus, Governor Mills, and the Constitution

on

Governors and bureaucrats are picking and choosing which parts of the Constitution they chose to obey or ignore on any given day and using science as a fig leaf to cover their intent.

The science of COVID-19 is capricious, ambiguous, changing, and inconsistent. In the face of these variables, it is hard to understand why Progressives slavishly adhere to the dictates of the science of the day.

Governor Janet Mills has closed down Maine and has used the COVID-19 virus crisis to bypass our state’s constitution. For example, her lockdown is in violation of:

• Article I, Section 1: “…of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property…”

Mills denies Maine’s citizens the use of their property.

• Article I, Section 6-A: “… No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor be denied the equal protection of the laws, nor be denied the enjoyment of that person’s civil rights…”

By picking winners and losers, Mills has denied Maine’s citizens of their lives, their liberty, and their property without due process; she has applied the laws unequally, favoring big business and penalizing small businesses; and she has, by fiat, denied certain citizens their civil rights.

• Article I, Section 13: “The laws shall not be suspended but by the Legislature or its authority.”

Mills has unilaterally suspended Maine’s Constitution as well the U.S. Bill of Rights without so much as a “howdy” to the Legislature. She has given them little say in the state’s response to the virus.

• Article I, Section 19: “Every person, for an injury…[to] property… shall have remedy…promptly and without delay.”

Mills dragged out the shut-down and denied citizens the use of their property.

• Article I, Section 21: “Private property shall not be taken for public uses without just compensation; nor unless the public exigencies require it.”  

The virus provides an exigency, but perhaps Mill’s dictatorial, overbearing and dismissive view of property prevents her from realizing that individual ownership of all forms of property is what makes the American experiment in government so unique. Confiscating people’s property requires due process and just compensation for the property confiscated.

Apparently, Mills thinks that science trumps the Maine Constitution as well as the U.S. Constitution. For instance, Mills thinks it is OK to prohibit attendance at church for religious observances; however, Article I, Section 3 of the Maine Constitution states: 

“…All individuals have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no person shall be hurt, molested or restrained in that person’s liberty or estate for worshipping God…”

Similarly, Amendment I of the U.S. Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”   

COVID-19 has brought into sharp focus the difference between those of us who believe in the unique idea stated in the Declaration of Independence, that the individual is paramount and government is instituted to protect the individuals unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property, and others who believe that the tyranny of the majority (democracy) and social justice should determine the shape of government and what rights, if any, government will allow to the people.

About John MacGregor

John "Jock" MacGregor is a student of history and politics, a pursuit he has enjoyed for most of his 79 years. Jock attended Villanova University’s School of Education; served in the U.S. Marine Corps; and is an entrepreneur with enterprises in restaurants, construction and boatbuilding. Mr. MacGregor was managing editor of an online news site in Hot Springs Arkansas. Currently, Jock comments on the role of government in society. Jock believes in a constitutionally limited government, instituted by the people, to protect their rights to life, liberty and property.

Recommended for you

Comments