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Fauci’s predictions (totally wrong and contradictory), the published report that justified the shutdown has been withdrawn, and the rest of the coronavirus hype are the biggest political hoax in history.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 influenza | Pediatrician: 80% of kids likely have coronavirus, but asymptomatic | CDC 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 much | Dr. 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.There are currently no comments highlighted.