Virginia’s Lockdown Violates Natural Law

by Deborah Hommer

My favorite Greek tragedy play is Sophocles’ “Antigone.” The protagonist risks her life with civil disobedience by burying the body of her brother Polyneices according to the religious dictates (natural/higher law) of her God in defiance of King Creon’s edict (man-made or positive law). When confronted with the choice of whether to obey the king’s cruel, arbitrary, unjust law or the law of God and her conscience, Antigone chooses the higher law. Antigone, her betrothed, and the king’s wife all commit suicide. By the end, King Creon is seen an incompetent leader shoe injustice led to irrevocable disaster.

Sophocles’ themes are universal. Americans today are governed by experts and their media megaphones to abide by arbitrary, unjust laws promulgated to combat the COVID-19 virus, and citizens must struggle with the question of whether or not to obey. Consider the following:

Neil Ferguson’s projections (resigned in disgrace), Anthony Fauci’s predictions (totally wrong and contradictory), the published report that justified the shutdown has been withdrawn, and the rest of the coronavirus hype are the biggest political hoax in history.

Things that make you go huh: Coronavirus in season 2, episode 14 in 2003 Dead Zone | 2019 Netflix Documentary Predicts “The Next Pandemic”  | Fauci: “No doubt” Trump will face surprise infectious disease outbreak, | timeline – corona has been in the making for decades |10.18.19 high-level pandemic exercise | WH hot mic – was it a hoax? | CNN reporter removes mask off camera; | Worldometer info illustrates overall Republican states have less deaths from Corona than Democrat states.

Now that the dust has somewhat settled, here is what we know:

Fatality rates have little correlation to level of lockdowns | Azar:  NO SPIKE in places reopening; SPIKE in places lockdowned  | Lies: inflated death numbers, lockdown states worse results, outside nursing home, fatality rate never warranted such action, outside NY, barely worse than bad flu season, social distancing invented by 14-year-old kid |outlandish misattributions to covid deaths | Fear, Groupthink drove unnecessary lockdown | 6 of 194 cases corona – misattribution,| deaths “untruths and misleading stats | CoronaVirus hits older adults hardest | CDC, PA, GA, TX, CT conflating test numbers |90% people hospitalized have underlying conditions | most COVID-19 infected people recover, most unfortunate deaths are among our 80+ year-old population, and most outbreaks have been in Long Term Care facilities | Health effects on older people but economics hurting young and poor | 1% of Counties home to 1/2 of covid cases | 18 Research Papers and Reports HCQ-AZ – 0.5% mortality rate | HCQ – effective in preventing coronavirus,| Chloroquine is Potent Inhibitor of SARS since 2005 |Dr. Barke:  mainstream narratives not welcome.

With Regards to Children, the CDC’s Considerations for Schools is outlandish, and kids need to return to being kids and playing and learning with their friends without masks and gloves:

Surveillance report: children 0-17 hospitalization rates are much lower than flu  | CDC now says coronavirus “does not spread easily” on surfaces| study: covid-19 spreads in schools “considerably less” than influenzaPediatrician:  80% of kids likely have coronavirus, but asymptomaticCDC asks public to stop buying facemarks as they don’t prevent infection| Face masks cannot stop healthy people getting covid |WHO: If you are healthy only wear mask if taking care of covid patient |14 randomized trials show that wearing masks does not lead to any substantial reduction flu-like illness | scarf, bandanna won’t help muchDr. Blaylock:  Face masks pose serious risks to the healthy | Two boys die in gym class while wearing masks |Gloves and cross-contamination |People are concerned with Kawasaki Disease in children – vaccines:  NCBI, Rotateq, Insert.

The Injustice of the Irrevocable Disaster of CoronaPhobia:

The demoralizing effects of furloughs at 256 hospitals, 40% job loss among those earning $40K, devastation of every economic sector, mass confusion | Fauci:  irreparable damage if lockdowns are kept in place too long | goals of lockdown achieved, faltality rate extremely low, failure to educate parents, catastrophic harms from lockdown (cancer, poverty, missing treatments and transplants, screenings | possible 75,000 deaths from despair, drugs, or alcohol abuse or suicide | a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last 4 weeks | VA jobless rate 10.6% April | Paper concludes almost 1/2 shutdown-induced layoffs will be permanent | NY plunged 10s of 1000s into poverty |spike in severe child abuse cases linked to stress from corona | 338% increase in calls – National Suicide Prevetion Lifeline | Children more at risk for abuse and neglect amid coronavirus pandemic,| mental-health hotline has seen 891% spike in calls,|  More than 600 physicians have signed a letter to President Trump calling for an end to the national shutdown and expressed their “alarm over exponentially growing negative health consequences of the national shutdown” calling it a “mass casualty incident.” – health effects on health, alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty and abuse.

Our country was founded on the higher-law concept called natural rights in the recognition that at times governments enacts laws which are unjust, are contrary to right reasoning, and violate conscience and higher laws — think of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. I am in no way comparing our current leaders with those murderous dictators. Rather, I use them to illustrate unjust laws that were legally enacted.

Martin Luther King Jr. stated, ”I would agree with St. Augustine that an unjust law is no law at all. … Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” As such, “One has . . . a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

I’ve looked at hundreds of codes, laws, court cases from the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian, writings of St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, medieval England (Magna Carta, Bracton, Coke, Blackstone), and early America  (founders, state constitutions, sermons, Locke, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, court cases). All repeatedly state that laws that are contrary to natural reasoning are null and void.

Justice Samuel Chase opined in Calder v. Bull (1798) — not an isolated opinion in court cases in the early years of our Republic — that acts of the legislature contrary to reason and justice are not laws:  “There are certain vital principles in our free republican governments, which will determine and overrule an apparent and flagrant abuse of legislative power … An act of the legislature (for I cannot call it a law) contrary to the great first principles of the social compact, cannot be considered a rightful exercise of legislative authority … It is against all reason and justice, for a people to entrust a legislature with such powers; and, therefore, it cannot be presumed that they have done it.”

The U.S. Circuit Court case Corfield v. Coryell, (1823) is probably the best illustration of what the fundamental rights of citizens are. Judge Bushrod Washington, George Washington’s nephew, interprets the Privileges and Immunities Clause of Article 4, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution.

“The inquiry is, what are the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states? We feel no hesitation in confining these expressions to those privileges and immunities which are, in their nature, fundamental; which belong, of right, to the citizens of all free governments; and which have, at all times, been enjoyed by the citizens of the several states which compose this Union, from the time of their becoming free, independent, and sovereign. What these fundamental principles are, it would perhaps be more tedious than difficult to enumerate. They may, however, be all comprehended under the following general heads: Protection by the government; the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the right to acquire and possess property of every kind, and to pursue and obtain happiness and safety; subject nevertheless to such restraints as the government may justly prescribe for the general good of the whole.”

“The right of a citizen of one state to pass through, or to reside in any other state, for purposes of trade, agriculture, professional pursuits, or otherwise; to claim the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; to institute and maintain actions of any kind in the courts of the state; to take, hold and dispose of property, either real or personal; and an exemption from higher taxes or impositions than are paid by the other citizens of the state; may be mentioned as some of the particular privileges and immunities of citizens, which are clearly embraced by the general description of privileges deemed to be fundamental: to which may be added, the elective franchise, as regulated and established by the laws or constitution of the state in which it is to be exercised. These, and many others which might be mentioned, are, strictly speaking, privileges and immunities, and the enjoyment of them by the citizens of each state, in every other state, was manifestly calculated (to use the expressions of the preamble of the corresponding provision in the old articles of confederation) “the better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different states of the Union.”

Congressman Bingham and Senator Howard when composing the 14th Amendment used the same definition of “privileges and immunities” as did Justice Washington. The 14th Amendment states, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Incontrovertibly, Virginia’s lockdown cannot be considered a rightful exercise of authority. It is being contrary to right reason as it abridges privileges and immunities. There is no due process of law, and there is not an equal protection of the law. Article VI of the Constitution shows the hierarchy of powers, stating the Constitution and federal laws thereof supersedes other laws when in conflict. We did not surrender — nor will or can we — our inherent natural rights, privileges and immunities, to unreasonable overreaching unlawful laws without due process.

But this is what it comes down to: The executive orders enacted by Governor Ralph Northam and other governors may be legally enacted but they are “unjust, arbitrary and capricious” abuses of discretion, and therefore unconstitutional.

Furthermore, the idea that shopping is permissable in large stores but not small ones violates the equal protection clause. (It is also illogical — is someone more likely to be infected in a big store than a small store? Ridiculous on its face.)

Many think natural law is nonsense (Woodrow Wilson, Chief Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jeremy Bentham “nonsense on stilts”). But the perennial question that remains is:  When man-made laws fail humans by trampling on their lives, liberty, property rights, significance and dignity of their lives, where do you turn? This is exactly where natural law obtains its saliency.

Heinrich Rommen, a lawyer, watched “with alarm as the Nazi party deftly used German legislative, administrative, and judicial institutions to impose totalitarian rule.” He was watched, investigated, and finally arrested. Through his thorough knowledge of the law, he managed to procure his release and in 1938 secured permission to go to England and then to the United States. Teaching at a Connecticut college, Rommen helped revive natural law theory in the 1940s and 1950s in the United States.

Stated Rommen: “We need to remember that Europe — in Germany and Italy in particular — the problems of the Great Depression quickly, led to centralized state authority that brutally trampled on individual rights in the name of the common good.”   

The natural law calls, then, for the positive law. This explains why the natural law, though it is the enduring basis and norm of the positive law, progressively withdrawn as it were, behind the curtain of the positive law as the latter achieves a continually greater perfection.  This is also why the natural law reappears whenever the positive law is transformed into objective injustice through the evolution and play and vital forces and the functional changes of communities.

Deborah Hommer, a resident of Fairfax County, publishes the Constitutional Reflections website.

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48 responses to “Virginia’s Lockdown Violates Natural Law

  1. One of the best articles I will be sharing today.

  2. An tig oh knee. Auntie gone is a COV2 result.

  3. I strongly disagree. “Natural law”? Isn’t the coronavirus an example of nature and natural law? It seems that the writer wants everyone freely subject to the natural law of survival of the fittest. If you come down with COVID-19 and die, too bad; that is just natural law at work.

    As for her rant about the unconstitutionality about any restrictions by the state on her movements and places that she can shop, I refer her to one phrase of Bushrod Washington’s opinion that she quoted: “subject nevertheless to such restraints as the government may justly prescribe for the general good of the whole.” Our “privileges and immunities” may be restrained for the good of the whole. Does she really think that the restrictions put into place to slow the spread of a deadly disease constitute “trampling on [her life], liberty, property rights, significance and dignity of [her life]”?

    • I don’t strictly support everything in this post. I understand that temporary suspension of a particular guaranteed right for a limited time in the least restrictive way appropriate to an emergency may be necessary. My view is that such restrictions should not be entirely based on the judgment of one man. The the constitution of the United States guarantees a republican form of government in every state, and thus requires the legislative branch to play a role in such decisions. In Virginia it does not. In most states it does.

      But the author did not conflate nature and natural law, Dick, you did and then trashed her for it. Not your best work.

    • There is a debate as we speak whether coronavirus came from a lab or nature. First, let me explain to you the rich debate that was going on during the time of Antigone between The Philosophers (mainly Plato and Aristotle) and the Sophists (paid teachers). The Philosophers believed that happiness is eudaemonia, a Greek word for flourishing – living a life of virtue, morality and meaning; law and morals come from a higher power, are absolute, unchanging, not to obey unjust laws, laws that unreasonable and not for the common society; truth is objective; learn by reason – convince with facts and logic and be open-minded. The endgame is knowledge, lover of winsome, and is concerned with truth and justice. The Sophists, on the other hand, believed that happiness is achieved by acquiring the things in life that make you happy – wealth, honor, status, meaning whatever makes you happy is virtuous; thought that law and morals are subjective, self-interested, manmade, deny objective laws, would choose to enforce enacted laws, even if they are bad; joy and happiness can be achieved without moral goodness; truth is relative; use rhetoric to persuade, make people believe you utilizing feelings. When one attempts to persuade they are not open-minded. The endgame is power. These two different worldviews can be traced up to our current day. The repeated question: Is it of human creation or a natural thing? That’s the question you started with.

      Your statement about natural law and survival of the fittest conflates presented information. It appears to me that the links to my articles were not read. In essence, all the predictive models were grossly wrong. We now know that the fatality rates have little correlation to the level of lockdowns and the spikes are occurring in lock downed areas, not in places re-opening. In addition, there is, in some cases, massive misattribution of the coronavirus deaths, that this virus is hitting the older population the hardest, and 90% of people hospitalized have underlying conditions. According to Fauci’s March 26, 2020, report, he stated, “be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%).

      So the question comes: Every year when the flu comes around, are we going to shut down the entire society? Or are we going to do what we used to do and have people with compromised immune systems and underlying conditions take the necessary precautions (self-responsibility)? I think the initial modeling of Ferguson and Fauci and the initial published report justified the shutdown. With the dust settling, the questions that now need to be asked is about those who have lost businesses, lost jobs, facing bankruptcy, and the exponentially growing negative health consequences of the national shutdown (see the numerous links in the “The injustice of the Irrevocable Disaster of CoronaPhobia” – is would they be willing to risk getting the Covid? That option was taken away from them. Instead we are seeing a spike in severe child abuse cases, 338% increase in suicides, 891% increase in calls to the mental-health hotline. Think of the difference of how one handles a situation when they feel they have control over a situation versus not feeling control over a situation. As Americans our culture is entwined with an I-Can attitude, a spirit of changing what doesn’t work for us. I don’t think it’s a far fetch to state that these spikes have some correlation to not feeling as though you have control over our lives.

      Yes, Bushrod Washington – and the Philosophers and all the other people I mention in the article, including our Founding Fathers – believed that with rights there are responsibilities/duties. There was a reason the Philosophers didn’t like the boundless and limitless. There is freedom in limits. The crux of it is you are not to harm another person. These people who the State is deciding what they may or may not do is hurting them. It is acceptable to quarantine a sick person. It is wholly unacceptable to quarantine a healthy person. Let’s go back to the initial goal: The initial goal of the virus was SOLELY to help temporarily slow the virus spread and give the medical community time to prepare for the influx of patients. That didn’t happen. Make-shift medical tents and cruise ships were set up and never utilized, costing millions. Now medical personnel are furloughed, hospitals struggling financially, and the massive influx never happened. The goa was NOT to have metrics to follow so that we have as few cases as possible. Violent criminals are being let out of jail while law-abiding people who want to make a living to provide for their families are being fined/jailed for working, playing in a park. Look at Africa, people are starving to death because they don’t have food due to the lockdown. I think it’s incredibly cavalier to think the world should shut down and people should stop living with the facts we have currently.

      • In my reply to Jim Sherlock, I admitted to an unjustified conflating of nature and natural law.

        As for some of your other points. 1. The models were wrong. Every forecaster that I have worked with over many years always said that any forecast or projection is wrong. There are just too many variables that cannot be foreseen. Forecasters do the best they can with the data they have available. And, as you concede, “I think the initial modeling of Ferguson and Fauci and the initial published report justified the shutdown.”
        2. “Every year when the flu comes around, are we going to shut down the entire society?” No. There are vaccines for the flu and there are drugs to treat it. Neither is true for the coronavirus.
        3. “It is wholly unacceptable to quarantine a healthy person.” I agree. The problem is that we cannot know who is a “healthy person” with this virus. Total asymptomatic persons can spread the disease. Furthermore, healthy persons are not being “quarantined”. The majority of the population is still working, although many small businesses are shut down. Anyone can leave his or her house and go to the grocery store, home and garden store, doctor, pharmacy, get takeout from a restaurant or fast-food, wine store, etc.
        4. “The massive influx never happened.” Perhaps that is because we did impose social distancing and close down some venues. People who throw this argument about the influx never happening sometimes seem to me almost sorry that it did not happen.

        • 2. So let’s look at the flu vaccine then. I think the media doesn’t report on the inefficiency (often hovers around 10-15% every year) and risks (83% of vaccine injury cases) of the flu vaccine due to its conflict of interest.
          “The science indicates significant risks and low efficacy, both in the U.S. and internationally … Although all vaccines have the potential to cause serious harm to both children and adults, influenza vaccines—which contain neurotoxic and carcinogenic ingredients such as thimerosal and formaldehyde as well as bacterial endotoxin—lead the pack in U.S. reports of serious vaccine injuries. More than four out of five (83%) of the vaccine injury cases (275/332) settled through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) for the nine-month period from mid-November 2016 through mid-August 2017 were flu-vaccine-related, including four deaths. Notably, almost four in ten of the reported non-fatal injuries for that period were for the highly debilitating and potentially life-threatening Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS). Studies have linked GBS to flu vaccines for many years, suggesting plausible biological mechanisms to explain the relationship. The other non-fatal flu vaccine injuries reported to VAERS in 2016-17 read like a catalogue of ordinarily rare diseases.

          From 2014 to 2015, the NVICP flu shot settlements increased from $4.9 million to $61 million—an 1100% increase. As the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a voluntary surveillance system, is acknowledged by the government to capture as little as one percent of actual adverse events, the flu vaccine injuries and deaths are substantially underreported.

          In a rational world, untainted by Pharma money, low flu shot efficacy would also inform consumer choice about vaccine risks and benefits. This year in Santa Barbara County, California, seven out of eight senior citizens who reportedly died from the flu had dutifully gotten their flu shots and had taken “flu-fighting medications” (which have their own set of problems). The County’s public health officer attributed the higher-than-normal mortality to the flu strain that is “particularly resistant to vaccination. She still continues to advocate for flu shots as a “life or death” choice, even though infectious disease experts peg the vaccine’s effectiveness at an abysmal 10% this year.”
          Childrens Health Defense is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., website, which is chock full of information on vaccines. A group of scientists, doctors and lawyers FOIA’d HHS and discovered that childhood vaccines have illegitimate placebos (other vaccines), and the follow-up periods too brief to capture adverse outcomes – 1, 3, 5 days. Viagra, on the other hand, was studied for the 5 years. The 1986 Childhood National Vaccine Act absolved vaccine manufacturers from legal liability for harm caused by their products, and the CDC’s post-licensure vaccine safety surveillance is deficient.
          This same group sued the CDC in federal court and the CDC conceded that it has no studies to support that any of these vaccines do NOT cause autism. They also sued HHS and the stipulated order shows that HHS has not acted in its duties regarding vaccine safety.

          The main point is that a flu vaccine which often hovers around 10% efficacy can hardly be supportive of the idea that the flu vaccine is why we don’t have to shut down society. And I remember the fiasco of the swine flu vaccine, and here we are again with the rush for a vaccine which I fear will have the same fate.

          3. I concede there are people still working; however there are many that are not. I don’t have the percentages. However, the information I provided in “The Injustice of the Irrevocable Disaster of CoronaPhobia” is overwhelming of the harms that this “shut down” of sorts is having on people. There are minimal things we can do; but it’s like we are on probation; we are very limited in what we can do. Fauci’s report compares this to a bad flu season. I know so many people whose kids have not left the house since this started. They are not allowed to play with their friends; their paranoia runs deep. We are not living normally.
          What we do know is that a lot of the diseases we have we are asymptomatic before we become symptomatic. We also know that many people who get a live-vaccine or a live-attenuated vaccine shed and shed sometimes for weeks.

          4. Well, the social distancing was created by a 14-year-old girl and adopted by the Bush Administration. I still think we need to be looking at the risk-benefit analysis of this social distancing. Here’s some food for thought:

          And, again, the idea of limiting movement was SOLELY about making sure hospitals weren’t overwhelmed. That was the stated purpose, not to have the least number of cases. It appears to me that the goalposts keep moving on us. I really think that in a year or so when we look back at this with 20/20 hindsight, it will be an embarrassment to the media for the lack of balanced reporting.

      • By the way, it is an unexpected pleasure to be carrying on a discussion with someone who draws upon Sophocles, the Philosophers, and the Sophists! I only wish that I could reply. I missed out on Sophocles and it has been so long since I have read Plato and Aristotle that I would embarrass myself if I ventured to make any comment.

  4. Dad: “Wow, that’s a huge turkey.”
    Son: “It’s a guinea hen, Mom just got carried away with the stuffing.”

    Politics and religion. The beasts have it so much easier. You’re right, it’s a struggle of earliest and continuing documentation. Even JC said, “Render unto Caesar,” which combined with Paul’s “Let every person be in subjection to ..” left all of Christendom subjected to the whims of kings, some good, some bad, until TJ stuffed a guinea hen in 1776 for George. Of course, he had to stuff the DoI because of JC. Prevailing thought would have had him burned at the stake just 100 years earlier.

    But, the Constitution is not a suicide pact.

  5. “All repeatedly state that laws that are contrary to natural reasoning are null and void.”

    So, sign me up for the agreed upon (evolutionary) natural reasoning that we all agree upon, including the “higher authority”, then show me the appeal process to the “higher authority’s ruling” particularly from the self-anointed experts on “natural law” and why they understand it better than the violators of same, then I will take it.

    Is there any particular order in which we are to follow the links in the post? Objection. Your honor, question withdrawn.

    • The difference between the Philosophers and the Sophists is the Philosophers believed that there is are universal truths that apply to us all – in the area of science, you think of fire burns no matter where you are, gravity, et cetera. In the area of morality, I think any reasoned mind would agree that it’s wrong to kill another unjustifiably. There are actions that are right and wrong by nature. That’s the natural law that evolved into the natural rights that were enshrined in the early Republic’s States Constitutions, The Constitution, the Bill of Rights, statements made over the pulpit and by the Founding Fathers. No doubt that there are gray areas and why some would prefer to throw away the natural rights doctrine.

      The debate still stands: What do you do when a duly enacted law violates natural reasoning? Otto Adolf Eichmann stated during his trial for his part in organizing the Holocaust that he was just following orders. Does following orders give a get-out-of-jail card? The question is: do you follow a duly-enacted law or do you follow your conscience? That’s why conscience laws are in the Constitution. The debate between the Philosophers and the Sophists also was about justice and morality. Is it just to ask a person not to provide for their family? The Declaration of Independence, codified in the Library of Congress, The Constitution, the Bill of Rights all state in their different ways that we have certain rights to life, liberty, property. The 5th Amendment and the 14th Amendment state that in order for them to be taken away there must be due process. Where’s the due process for the extinguishment of these rights?

      • You raise old, tough questions. No, just following orders does not get you a get-out-of-jail card. But, following one’s conscience also sometimes has a high price, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer and other dissidents in Nazi Germany found out.

        Thoreau, Gandhi, and King all advocated a way of opposing unjust laws.

        But it is not always a simple situation. Suppose that I feel that a Muslim is an advocate of a violent religion and, in good conscience, I cannot allow him into my restaurant to eat. Should I be allowed to follow my conscience and violate what I view as an unjust law requiring me to serve someone I view as a terrorist?

        Going on to due process. In the current circumstance, the General Assembly enacted laws authorizing the Governor to declare both a general emergency and a health threat. Those laws also authorized the Governor to restrict travel and close places of business. That is the due process. The government’s actions were enacted in accordance with law and were not arbitrary.

        You may feel that these laws are unjust. Or you may feel, as Jim Sherlock does, that they are unwise and provide the governor too much power. Years ago, when I first became acquainted with these emergency powers, I was surprised at their breadth and have always been uncomfortable with them. However, so far, including in the current situation, I think they have been exercised responsibly. Some limitation should be built into the emergency powers, but I would not involve the GA as extensively as some others are advocating. That would be inviting chaos when, sometimes, quick and decisive action is needed.

        • Ah, you bring up some good examples of individuals who acted according to conscience and suffered the consequences thereof. I immediately think of the Roman Emperors Nero and Decius whom history has as persecuting Christians the most. There were many Romans who couldn’t comprehend that these Christians followed their conscience to death. Now think of Antigone. Yeah, there are consequences for following your conscience. Each individual gets to decide what they can live with. And we are seeing today people follow their conscience and attempt to open their businesses – some of these people who want to put food on the table for their families, some just want their kids to play in a park, some just want to work.

          No, it’s not that simple. And it gets tricky, but we have the first amendment. I don’t agree with discrimination either. Having said that, the Christian Baker won the Supreme Court case. Conscience laws are throughout of country – contraception, abortions, sterilization, training. And I do note that a discriminating factor is that there must be another person in the “department’ that could provide those services. I think the debate of whether you should get to decide who works for you in your company is a good debate to be having. I can’t see any court upholding a “I don’t like this kind of person, so he shouldn’t be in my store/restaurant.”

          Ahh, due process. Now we are getting into the subject area of substantive due process versus procedural due process. You gave examples of procedural due process. There was a procedure, and the procedure obtained results. It’s not uncommon for law professors when teaching their classes to bring up the example of whoever picks the short straw gets to die for the good of community. There was a fair process – straws were arranged, everybody picked a straw, and a decision was made according to a process. But was it a just process? That’s substantive due process. Although there is debate where it stems from – my research has led me to the Magna Carta. Now we can think of the Worst Supreme Court cases – Dred Scott, Buck v. Bell (sterilization – real story is horrifying); Korematsu (the internment of the Japanese); Plessy v. Ferguson (separate but equal), and the list goes on. I will leave out Lochner as I actually do think it’s good case law, but I will leave that for another day. There was a process in all of these cases. But was it just? That’s substantive due process.

          Now let’s look at some of the debates going on in states right now. Some legislators in states are speaking of the overreaching ability of these governors and the lack of legislative input, checks and balances and separation of powers. These are all really good questions. But we do know that when the Founders set up the Constitution they set it up so that one person is never “off duty.” The judicial and legislative branches “go home, have vacation time,” but the executive branch is always on duty. This is why they hold the emergency powers. But I ask: Are we still in an emergency? The CDC recently revised their numbers: “and under its most likely scenario, the number is 0.26%. Officials estimate a 0.4% fatality rate among those who are symptomatic and project a 35% rate of asymptomatic cases among those infected, which drops the overall infection fatality rate (IFR) to just 0.26%.”

  6. I hardly believe that 100, 000 dead Americans are a massive hoax

    • In addition, there are an uncounted number who were seriously ill; some, who although asymptomatic, suffered strokes, even though they were relatively young, and, now, children, who had tested positive, are undergoing frightening illness from a syndrome thought to be related to the coronavirus.

      • I think you’re speaking about Kawasaki. Please see above that Kawasaki is linked to vaccines. See product info and credential source above.

    • Religion has no difficulty maintaining just two contradictory ideas simultaneously, i.e. “It’s a deadly disease and a hoax.”

    • Peter, you clearly didn’t click on any of the links. We don’t know what the numbers are due to misattribution. And there are many doctors, funeral directors who are speaking out against the catastrophic harms from the lockdown (cancer, poverty, missing treatments and transplants screening.).

  7. If, as in Virginia, under Virginia law one man:
    – can declare an emergency;
    – that lasts for 18 months after which he can renew it;
    – that in turn allows him to restrict constitutional rights for an unrestricted amount of time; and
    Virginia laws provide for no timely process of authorization by the General Assembly, then the constitutions of Virginia and the United States are violated.

    That is the reason that I have made the case (and have drafted the necessary changes to current law) to require General Assembly participation and concurrence in decisions that restrict constitutional freedoms.

    Some commenters here equate one man rule in an emergency to the difference between order and chaos. I find that view unsupported by experiences in other states that provide legislative participation and just wrong in every way.

  8. This article hits on the core of the discussion we should be having. Ignoring the predictable BR graffiti posters who pepper the BLOG with their smug, inane cutesy snark, hate, and misdirection — I am surprised at Sizemore’s unequivocal condemnation.

    Presumably, most suggesting that the government’s authority and legislative tool bag have no limits when preserving life would argue very differently about waterboarding or similar measures to extract information to save thousands of lives — based on notions of constitutional rights, natural law or some combination thereof. In fact, military units must now travel with lawyers to read the Miranda rights to prisoners captured in battle to preserve rights these advocates insist can not be ignored no matter how many lives aggressive interrogation might save. I suspect Dick would be in this group.

    When we go to war to protect our freedoms we are explicitly acting on the idea that some things are worth giving your life for.

    Hommer and Bacon deserve plaudits for keeping this discussion front and center. It involves the essence of what a free society is and what it must do to remain so.

  9. The problem, Gillispie, is that this blog bounces back and forth from interesting debate to right wing echo chamber crap, ie global warming is a hoax, the pandemic (100’k dead Americans) is a hoax, thanks to our narcissistic, inane president, we have no national leadership, so state governors have to make up remedies as they go along, typically with flawed data. I read you response with respect as to why you like him. Fine, let’s agree to disagree. Txs

    • Peter, I have already defended elsewhere why there is question as to the numbers. I won’t rehash that. However, the 10th Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The decisions of the governors for the states are theirs and not Trump’s. It’s called federalism. We will agree that the data is flawed. I think “overhyped” is more apropos.

  10. Natural Law is based on the freedom and dignity of each human being. It is Natural Law that condemned slavery, even when civic laws allowed it. Some of you might benefit from studying Charles Rice’s book: 50 Questions on Natural Law.

  11. Can’t find Hommer’s website. Would someone please post a link?


  12. Dalhommer. Also can’t find your link. Big difference between 17th century thinkers and 21st century global transport when idiots like trump suddenly funnel Americans coming home immediately and stands no un customs lines cheek to block giving each other the bug. That’s not The Great Minds of the Fathers and Natural Law. That’s Trump being an incompetent asshole. Sorry for my language. Just wants to make sure Gillispie gets it.

  13. Gillispie. Do you get it?

  14. Gillispie. Want to opine about The Founders?” Haha

  15. Peter, Accept this as my last response to you.

    I will no longer respond to anything you post and have added you to my list of commentators here who seldom contribute anything of value and seem motivated mostly by a desire to hurt, offend, smear or otherwise signal to their like-minded cohorts their moral and ideological superiority. You in particular are the most reprehensible since you cloak yourself in a self-described mantle of journalist rather than the hypocritical, shallow knee-jerk far left Democrat you really are–apparently incapable of a logical, fact-based presentation and, frequently, so deprived of ideas you are left with profanity–the laziest form of communication.

    And when that fails. you go back-channel to Jim or Daddy to rid the Blog of those whose postings don’t conform to your idea of interesting debate — in other words one-sided harangues or comments you agree with.

    I don’t know you as a person but your writings and behavior on BR are despicable.

    Bask well in your superiority.

  16. You do not force free independent people to wear mask except in highly unusual and dangerous circumstances. This is not something done by whim, caprice, or any other legitimate reason except for the most grave. That is why leaders violate this mandates was will, and impose them on subordinates, its a power symbol of subordination. For a mask mandated by religion or government robs people of their identity, it strips them of their most fundamental rights, and conversely it can be used to gives them superiors a shield to hide behind. It’s a hydra-headed weapon – the KKK, the Islam’s forcing women to hide their face or body, and many other iterations if mandated by government or religious authority backed by punishment, a tool the evil or power drunk leader far too often expands rapidly – the scarlet letter, the Badges of Shame forced upon Catholic’s, Jews and Muslims, since medieval Europe up to this very day. These mandates open up a Pandora’s box, without end.

    • Correction to above.

      You do not force free independent people to wear masks except in highly unusual and dangerous circumstances that demand it. This is not something forced on people by whim, caprice, or any other legitimate reason, except for the most grave, imposed in most limited way possible. That is why leaders violate these mask mandates at will, yet impose them on subordinates, it’s a power game and symbol of leaders superiority and the subordination of his subjects.

      For a mask mandated by religion or government or group robs all other people of their identity, and it marks them and publishes that mark, as it strips them of their most fundamental rights and publicly so declares, and conversely it can be used to give their superiors a shield to hide behind.

      It’s a hydra-headed weapon – the KKK, the Islam’s forcing women to hide their face or body, and many other iterations if mandated by government or religious authority or group backed by punishment, a tool the evil or power drunk leader far too often expands rapidly – the scarlet letter, the Badges of Shame forced upon Catholic’s, Jews and Muslims, since medieval Europe up to this very day. These mandates open up a Pandora’s box, without end. Tyrants love such marks, badges and masks, mandated by their own authority.

  17. Whatever the merits of wearing a mask are, this is an argument which should be taken very seriously as it is obviously indisputable.

  18. I’m not going to mention names, but can everyone please take a chill pill?

    Very clearly, people don’t agree on how best to respond to COVID-19. But Bacon’s Rebellion is a place where we can interact civilly with one another even when we disagree. No matter how much someone else on this blog provokes you, please try to maintain a demeanor of calm and rationality. Trust me, you will come across as more credible to anyone who is reading these comments.

  19. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    Even though it was intense, that was a good exchange. I miss philosophy class now. There were so many good viewpoints to consider from the article and the comments. Last thing I expected was Bushrod Washington coming into play. I wasn’t sure if anyone knew who BW was anymore. Always lost in John Marshall’s huge judicial footprint. This country boy appreciates the vast knowledge and expertise of all of you very much.

  20. Jim, can you provide a link to dalhommer’s site? I have tried several times. When I click on the links she provides, they are a mishmash of conservative media (including the bull elephant) that don’t seem to have very high scientific credentials. As for John Locke and Aquinas, I have my high school books around somewhere.

    • My apologies. I am not on the computer much. My website is not published yet. It’s in the works. It will be, .net, .info, and .com.

      • Deborah –

        Thank you for your fine article. It’s an excellent one, full of scholarship, facts, and thoughtful refection. The quality of an article’s truth and timeliness can be measured by the level of consternation and desperation it raises among those of us long asleep at the switch, where your wisdom kicks them hard, briefly knee jerking them from their own fog to hurl the building blocks of western civilization out of their fouled nest, wisdom of the ages that they discard carelessly and thoughtlessly as junk, along with gratuitous insults such as:

        “As for John Locke and Aquinas, I have my high school books around somewhere.” (what a life of nihilism and waste this represents!)

        or this:
        “right wing echo chamber crap, ie global warming is a hoax, the pandemic (100’k dead Americans) is a hoax, thanks to our narcissistic, inane president, we have no national leadership,”

        Or simply this:
        “That’s Trump being an incompetent asshole.”

        This people do when exhausted, out of ammo, and in despair. They hurl insult and invective at the best of men, those the nihilist has selfishly lived off and benefited from their entire lives.

        Thank you, Deborah, for raising the quality of the discussion here on Bacon’s Rebellion tenfold despite the clutter and flack and darkness of dead-enders.

  21. Here is Deborah Hommer’s website:

    Apparently, it’s not live yet. So, perhaps her tagline should have said that she “is developing the Constitutional Reflections website.”

  22. Dalhommer. No worries. Hope you get your site up soon

  23. Jim Bacon. Something stinks here. You have re-inserted the sequence of comments to cover up the many mistakes here. Who is this woman? You present her as having a website. Then no website. Where did you find this person and why are the hard righters on this blog like Gillispie trying to defend her? Are you also getting into the anti-vaccination group? Tell us what the game is here. As for Robert f. Kennedy jr., forget him. I know him. I went to high school with him. I interviewed him for my book. What’s gillispie’s game here?

    • Deborah submitted the column to me for possible publication. I did some editing, she gave her approval, and I published it. It’s as simple as that. Personally, I’m not entirely comfortable with her natural law argument. It’s one thing to defy the Nazis, or even Southern segregationists with civil disobedience. It’s another thing to resist Governor Northam’s emergency edicts, which, though they may not be based in Virginia law and constitutionality, are not inherently heinous. But I thought Deborah raised some points worth discussing, and in that the piece succeeded.

      As for the website, I mistakenly assumed that it was live. I should have checked first. My bad.

      There is no hidden agenda.

      The “hard righters” on the blog can speak for themselves, but I presume that they genuinely agree with her arguments. Many people on the right ground their beliefs on strongly held philosophical principles, believe it or not.

  24. Jim. Thank you. Apologies to Steve Gillispie, but please don’t get into jfk jr. anti-vac, that would kill millions

    • Don’t worry, I am a firm believer in the value of vaccinations.

      Whether to make them mandatory or not, that’s a trickier question.

      • I truly appreciate being a believer in the value of vaccinations.

        However, in my defense I did not provide “value” of vaccinations. I provided facts – facts from the CDC’s own numbers and court lawsuits of concessions of facts.

        And a bit of unsolicited advice that I learned a while ago. If the media mocks it, I go research it. It is my opinion that media/people often use ridicule to shut down critical thinking skills as most people don’t want to be ridiculed.

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