Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Constitution

Ohio Gyms Reopen After Judge Rules Their Closing Was Unconstitutional

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Saturday, May 23, 2020:  

Within hours of a court’s ruling on Wednesday that Ohio’s Public Health Director Amy Acton had reached way beyond her authority in closing various businesses, including gyms and fitness centers, those businesses reopened.

And none too soon, according to Tim Cassell, the owner of Pinnacle Performance in Columbus: “I’ve got $250,000 worth of equipment sitting out there collecting dust … every day [we’re closed] means dollars [lost], especially when you’ve got none.”

The temporary injunction against enforcement came from a suit filed by the Cincinnati-based Finney Law Firm and assisted by the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, representing 35 independent gyms statewide. The suit claimed that the series of orders from Acton violated numerous sections of the Ohio Constitution and constituted an illegal taking of private property.

Judge Eugene Lucci, in the Court of Common Pleas in Lake County, Ohio, didn’t mince words. As a result of Acton’s various orders, beginning in March and repeatedly amended since then, “The director has quarantined the entire people of the state of Ohio, for much more than 14 days [the normal incubation period for the COVID virus]. The director has no statutory authority to close all businesses, including the plaintiffs’ gyms, which she deems non-essential for a period of two months. She has acted in an impermissibly arbitrary, unreasonable and oppressive manner, and without any procedural safeguards.”

Lucci wrote that those rights being violated are fundamental in Ohio:

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New Jersey Gym Closed on Thursday, Opened Again on Friday

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, May 22, 2020:

When paper towels were stuffed into toilets at the Atilis Gym on Wednesday, the owners were forced to close. It remained closed on Thursday. On Thursday night health officials attached a closure notice to the front door. On Friday the gym opened again.

A week ago the owners of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey, wrote a letter to Governor Phil Murphy telling him that they were going to open their gym in defiance of his edict. They also announced their plans to open publicly, and when Monday morning came, members entered while supporters outside the gym waved American flags and cheered.

Governor Murphy was asked about the gym’s defiance of his orders on Monday afternoon and he warned the owners and their patrons, “If you show up at that gym tomorrow [Tuesday the 19th], there will be a different reality.”

The gym opened on Tuesday, following strict safety measures implemented by the two owners, Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti. There was no “different reality.”

The gym opened again on Wednesday,

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Justice Department Warns California Governor Against Religious Discrimination

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, May 21, 2020: 

A letter from an assistant attorney general and four U.S. attorneys in California sent on Tuesday warned California Governor Gavin Newsom about discriminating against churches in his shutdown and reopening orders.

Signed by Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband, the letter quoted a statement from Attorney General William Barr that “even in times of emergency, when reasonable and temporary restrictions are placed on rights, the First Amendment and federal statutory law prohibit discrimination against religious institutions and religious believers. Thus, government may not impose special restrictions on religious activity that do not also apply to similar nonreligious activity.”

In other words, wrote Dreiband,

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New Jersey Governor Says Gym Owners Will Face “Different Reality” if They Reopen Today

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, May 19, 2020:

When New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy was asked on Monday afternoon whether the “situation” at Atilis Gym in Bellmawr could spiral “out of control,” he responded,

I’m not concerned it will spiral out of control. If it does, we will take action.

 

If you show up at that gym tomorrow, there will be a different reality than showing up today. These aren’t just words. We also have to enforce this.

 

But I also don’t want to start World War III. I’m not worried about that right now … people are doing the right thing … because they’re smart.

After the owners of Atilis Gym announced that they were going to open on Monday in spite of the governor’s “stay-at-home” edict, hundreds showed up. Members were allowed to enter after having their temperatures taken and signing “social distancing” and health compliance forms provided by the gym. Hundreds of others filled the parking lot out front, waving American flags and verbally cheering the defiant reopening.

When Bellmawr police showed up, they announced to the crowd that

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Colorado District Attorney: Governor’s Virus Powers “Too Vast” and “Unchecked”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Saturday, May 16, 2020:

Former Colorado gubernatorial candidate and now District Attorney George Brauchler railed against Governor Jared Polis’ overreach on Wednesday:

I have a significant disagreement with the arbitrary rules Polis and [his] health departments have put in place. I believe the authority exercised here is too vast and too unchecked….

 

But these are our laws.

Are they? Brauchler said yes: citizens must submit or suffer the consequences:

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Seattle Law-enforcement Officer Suspended for Urging Fellow Officers to Follow Constitution

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com Friday, May 15, 2020: 

Increasingly concerned that he and many fellow officers were being forced to violate their oaths of office in order to enforce COVID-19 stay-at-home edicts, Port of Seattle police officer and Special Forces veteran Greg Anderson posted a video on his Instagram page on March 6 expressing his concern. It runs about eight minutes.

It’s worth watching. In it he says:

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Churches Refuse to Cower Before Caesar; Court Victory in Kentucky

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, May 10, 2020: 

Some churches are suing. Some are asking permission to reopen in-person church services. Some are announcing they are opening in-person church services — with or without the government’s permission.

U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove issued a temporary restraining order on Friday against Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s edict banning in-person church services.

The complaint was brought by Tabernacle Baptist Church of Nicholasville on Wednesday, May 6. The judge issued the order on Friday and the governor officially backed off that same day. The judge’s ruling applies to all churches in the commonwealth.

On March 25 Governor Beshear issued an executive order that required all organizations that are not “life-sustaining” to close. According to his edict churches were not considered to be “life-sustaining,” but laundromats, accounting services, law firms, hardware stores, and other secular entities were. This formed the first basis of the complaint: blatant discrimination.

But the meat of the complaint rested on constitutional violations:

Requiring Plaintiff [Tabernacle] to abstain from its religious gatherings, despite substantial modifications to satisfy the public health interests at stake, violates Plaintiff’s Constitutional right to free exercise of its religion;

 

By denying Plaintiff the ability to assemble via an in-person church service, Defendants [Governor Beshear and another official in his administration] are in violation of the Freedom of Assembly Clause [contained in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution];

 

Requiring Plaintiff to abstain from its religious gatherings, despite substantial modifications to satisfy the public health interests at stake, violates Plaintiff’s Constitutional right peaceably to assemble [also in the First Amendment].

On Friday the judge granted what the church demanded: a temporary restraining order against the governor’s edict.

Later that day the governor backed off:

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Trump Nominates Justin Walker to D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, May 6, 2020:  

On April 3, President Trump nominated District Judge Justin Walker to fill a vacancy on the Washington, D.C., U.S. Court of Appeals.

On April 11 Walker proved in spades why he is qualified for the promotion.

His credentials are impressive: He earned his Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from Duke University; he earned his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Harvard University; he interned for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; he served as a law clerk to then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh while he served on the same court to which Trump has just appointed him; and he defended Kavanaugh during the travesty of his confirmation “hearings,” giving 119 interviews to a hostile media.

But Walker showed his true mettle when he ruled that the Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, stepped way out of line in his efforts to quash the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

On the Tuesday before Easter, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer banned all religious services, even if worshippers remained in their cars. On that Thursday, Fischer expanded on his edict:

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April Gun Sales Continue Surge After Record-breaking March

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, May 6, 2020:  

An estimated 1.8 million guns were sold in America in April, according to the research consultancy Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting. This is a 71-percent increase from last April, and a continuation of the surge that began in March when a record of more than 2.5 million firearms were sold to Americans.

Mark Oliva, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), said the reasons for the continuing surge are simple:

This shows us there is continued appetite among Americans to be able to provide for their own safety during times of uncertainty. These are buyers who have witnessed their governments empty prisons….

 

Police departments are stretched beyond capacity in many cases. Law-abiding Americans recognize this and are exercising their right to own a gun and defend themselves and their loved ones….

 

Our rights don’t end during a pandemic. In fact, the need for responsible and law-abiding adults to exercise their rights is magnified.

Timothy Lytton, professor of law at Georgia State University and an expert on the U.S. gun industry, agrees. Civil society could be severely “eroded” during the crisis, leading to a possible breakdown of law and order. In that case, said Lytton, a firearm can be viewed as a “self-help” survival tool in such a circumstance.

He adds a more important reason: “Many of the public health measures, such as shelter-in-place, restricting peoples’ movements, restricting what people can buy … raises fears among many of the potential for government takeover and tyranny.”

Amy Hunter, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association (NRA), comes closer to the real reason for the continuing surge:

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Oklahoma Mayor Gets Pushback on Mask Order, Reverses Position

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 4, 2020:  

Stillwater, Oklahoma, Mayor Will Joyce quickly backed off from requiring that customers and employees of stores and restaurants must all wear masks. The rule was applied on Friday, May 1, and was revised later that day.

City Manager Norman McNickle explained why it was revised: “In the short time beginning on May 1, 2020, — that face coverings have been required for entry into stores [and] restaurants — store employees have been threatened with physical violence and showered with verbal abuse. In addition, there has been one threat of violence using a firearm.”

Mayor Joyce was quick to apologize:

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Pandemic Shutdown Forces NRA to Cancel National Convention, Cut Salaries, Lay Off Employees

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 4, 2020: 

Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association (NRA), said on Sunday that “The cancelation of the annual meeting had a significant impact” on the pro-gun group’s financial condition. He blamed it and other cuts on the pandemic shutdown:

The health crisis has caused us to postpone countless fundraising and membership events along with competitions, training seminars and other revenue streams — those disruptions are the primary drivers of our decision-making process. Like every other business and nonprofit, we are forced to make tough choices in this new economic environment.

Those “tough choices” included laying off dozens of employees, furloughing others, and scaling back on the group’s usual fundraising, membership, and shooting events.

The NRA’s chief operating officer Wayne LaPierre sent an e-mail to his people:

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Circuit Court Blocks Kentucky Governor’s Limit on Church Services

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, May 3, 2020:

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Saturday, prohibiting Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear from enforcing his edict banning attendance at church services:

Orders prohibiting religious gatherings, enforced by police officers telling congregants they violated a criminal law and by officers taking down license plate numbers, amount to a significant burden on worship gatherings….

 

The breadth of [his] ban on religious services … should give pause to anyone who prizes religious freedom.

Two days before Easter, Governor Beshear announced that Kentucky police would record the license-plate numbers of all vehicles near mass gatherings, including church services, and transmit that information to various health departments, who would then enforce a mandatory 14-day quarantine for the violators.

Said Beshear:

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A Reminder: A Single Judge Stands Between Citizens and Tyranny

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, April 27, 2020:  

It’s becoming clearer all the time that when Donald Trump vacates the White House, he will leave behind a legacy of appointing constitutionalist judges. They will be tasked with the burden of restoring the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights to its proper place in judicial reasoning. The impact of his appointments on the American culture will be generational.

One judge not appointed by Trump but by President George W. Bush makes the point. Born in Havana, Cuba and educated in law at Western State University, Roger T. Benitez was appointed to a new seat on the Southern District Court of California by President Bush in 2003.

His two recent decisions have thrust him into the public spotlight.

In 2016, California voters were persuaded that precious rights could be ignored in favor of faux security promised by anti-gun politicians. Laws were enacted limiting magazines to 10 rounds and requiring background checks on anyone purchasing ammunition.

The California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA), with funding from some private groups and individuals and the NRA, sued the state’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra.

Benitez’s ruling on the first, Virginia Duncan v. Xavier Becerra, ran 86 pages. The judge reviewed all the reasons the State of California presented to support the law limiting magazines to just 10 rounds.

His ruling came down to this:

The magazine ban arbitrarily selects 10 rounds as the magazine capacity over which possession is unlawful. The magazine ban admits no exceptions, beyond those for law enforcement officers, armored truck guards, and movie stars. The ban does not distinguish between citizens living in densely populated areas and sparsely populated areas of the state.

 

The ban does not distinguish between citizens who have already experienced home invasion robberies, are currently threatened by neighborhood burglary activity, and those who have never been threatened.

 

The ban does not distinguish between the senior citizen, the single parent, and the troubled and angry high school dropout. Most importantly, the ban does not distinguish between possession in and around one’s home, and possession in or around outdoor concerts, baseball fields, or schoolyards.

 

The ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that is overwhelmingly chosen by American citizens for the lawful purpose of self-defense. The prohibition extends to one’s home where the need to defend self, family, and property is most acute.

 

And like the ban struck down in Heller, the California ban threatens citizens, not with a minor fine, but a substantial criminal penalty….

 

Under any level of heightened scrutiny, the ban fails constitutional muster.

The judge took the opportunity to review some history behind the Second Amendment:

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Two Second Amendment Lawsuits Likely Headed for Supreme Court

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 27, 2020:  

Two days after District Court Judge Roger Benitez ruled that California’s law requiring background checks in order to purchase ammunition was unconstitutional on April 23, the Ninth Circuit reversed his decision.

This is the second time one of Benitez’s decisions ruling in favor of the Second Amendment was reversed, and both cases are now likely to find the issues decided at the highest court in the land.

Benitez’s ruling on the first, Virginia Duncan v. Xavier Becerra (Becerra is the attorney general of California), ran 86 pages. The judge reviewed all the reasons the State of California presented to support the law limiting magazines to just 10 rounds. California voters had approved the measure in 2016 and it became effective two years later.

His ruling came down to this:

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Under Biden, Gun Ownership Would Be a “Heavily Regulated Privilege”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 23, 2020: 

Dave Workman, senior editor for GunMag.com (published by the Second Amendment Foundation), reviewed the 3,100-word anti-gun platform available at Joe Biden’s campaign website and called it a recipe “to turn the right to keep and bear arms into a heavily-regulated privilege.”

The de facto Democrat Party candidate for president insists, of course, that he will follow “constitutional, common-sense gun safety policies.” But consider just the first policy:

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Few Churches Pushing Back Against Governors’ Shutdown Decrees

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 22, 2020: 

Precious few pastors are pushing back against the egregious trampling of precious rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, such as the free exercise of religion, the freedom of speech, and the right of the people “peaceably to assemble.” Fewer still even recall the epithet the British applied to preachers who promoted American independence from their pulpits: the “Black-Robed Regiment.”

Advocates for the Crown found those preachers’ support of the patriots seeking independence particularly annoying and detrimental to their efforts to maintain loyalty among the colonists.

One of those, John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, a Lutheran minister, stands for all time as the iconic example. On January 21, 1776 he was preaching from Ecclesiastes to his congregation in Woodstock, Virginia:

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Four Michigan Sheriffs Won’t Enforce Governor’s Unconstitutional Edicts

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 16, 2020: 

Sheriffs of four Michigan counties told their constituents on Wednesday that Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s edicts in response to the COVID-10/coronavirus exceeded her executive authority and, as a result, they wouldn’t be enforcing them.

Their statement was directed to the people of each county who elected them to their offices: “We write today to inform the public of our respective counties of our opposition to some of Governor Whitmer’s executive orders … as overstepping her executive authority. As a result, we will not have strict enforcement of these orders.”

Then came the lesson:

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Trump Administration Adds Gun Makers and Retailers to List of “Essential” Businesses

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 31, 2020: 

Given the opportunity presenting itself in the form of the coronavirus shutdown, many anti-gun states shut down gun stores and manufacturers as being “non-essential.” On Saturday, the Trump administration revised its own list of “essential” businesses deemed important to the safety and security of the Republic and the list now includes gun stores and gun manufacturers.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is the agency responsible for executing directives by the Department of Homeland Security. In its revised memo, released on Saturday, it said that CISA “has developed … an ‘Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce’ advisory list. This list is intended to help State, local, tribal and territorial officials as they work to protect their communities.”

Under the “Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and Other First Responders” section is now included

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Former Senator Tom Coburn Passed Away March 28

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 30, 2020: 

On March 28, the day after President Trump signed the CARES Act into law, former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) passed away. Had he lived, and had his health allowed, he would certainly have voted against it. His annual “Wastebook” was eagerly awaited by fiscal conservatives, and largely ignored by everyone else in the Senate.

The CARES Act had everything in it that Coburn opposed. As Kimberly Strassel wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “The bill throws $25 billion more at food stamps and child nutrition; $12 billion at housing; $3.5 billion to states for child care; $32 billion at education; $900 million at low-income heating assistance; $50 million at legal services for the poor and so on. This is a massive expansion of the welfare state, seemingly with no regard to the actual length of this crisis.”

She added:

There’s also the money appropriators threw at government for no purpose other than the throwing. Every outpost gets dollars, most for nothing more than the general command “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” NASA gets $60 million. Has the virus infected the sun’s corona? The National Archives gets $8 million. Will it put the virus on display? Many departments get cash for research, regardless of their relevance to today’s medical crisis. Perhaps the Energy Department will use its additional $99 million in “science” to gauge how the virus responds in a nuclear reactor.

Without knowing it, Strassel provided a perfect epitaph for the Senator from Oklahoma back in 2015, writing, “The pity is that history rarely hands out awards to those who stop bad things. Tom Coburn blocked more ideas and lousy legislation in Congress than most Americans will ever know.”

He used a tool called a “hold” to block offensive legislation and managed to offend members on both sides of the aisle. Democrats called him “Dr. No,” intending it as a pejorative. Instead it became an honorary title, memorializing a member, first of the House and then the Senate, who promised to uphold and defend the Constitution and to serve no more than three consecutive terms, and who kept his promises.

He compiled a Constitutional voting record that is nearly unmatched today:

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Rhode Island Forces Any Out-of-state Visitors to Quarantine Themselves

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 30, 2020: 

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo replaced her edict demanding that New Yorkers coming to her state to escape the virus pandemic quarantine themselves for 14 days or else face fines and imprisonment and replaced it with one that includes anyone from out of state. She defended her initial edict by stating, “The reason is because more than half of the cases of coronavirus in America are in New York.… I know it’s unusual. I know it’s extreme, and I know some people disagree with it. [But] if you want to seek refuge in Rhode Island, you must be quarantined.”

The governor isn’t quite right about the numbers, but her threat is real. According to Worldometers, as this is being written on Monday morning, there are 142,793 known cases of the virus in the United States, with 59,648 (41 percent) of them in New York State. There are 294 known cases of the virus in Rhode Island, which have resulted in three deaths so far.

The governor is determined to keep her state’s numbers as low as possible, no matter what it takes. She has ordered the state police to set up checkpoints on I-95 and other main highways leading into her state from the west where drivers from out of state are being directed to checkpoints. If they ignore the signs, they will be pulled over. They will be quizzed about their plans, forced to give their personal contact information, and given a copy of the governor’s edict. It includes the penalties for noncompliance with the state’s quarantine: a $500 fine and possible jail time for up to 90 days.

National Guardsmen were also posted at train stations and bus depots to seek out and warn incoming New Yorkers seeking refuge in the state.

Even more egregious is her ordering National Guardsmen to start knocking on doors,

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2020 Bob Adelmann