The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe and Austin, May 8 – On Thursday, May 7, in response to Dallas County 14th District Judge Eric Moye’s ruling to jail Dallas hair salon owner for seven (7) days for violating the Governor’s Executive Order mandating the closure of hair salons as part of the government’s COVID-19 panic, both Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an interesting press release and letter, respectively. Governor Abbott’s press release and General Paxton’s letter were significant, because they both revealed the reality: many government officials, issuing orders and mandates requiring businesses to close, churches to stop worship, and citizens to stay in their homes, were well aware of the fact that their orders and mandates were illegal, without authority, and in violation of the United States Constitution and the Texas Constitution.
It’s important to note why those orders violated the respective Constitution.
Under the United States Constitution and under the Texas Constitution, there are Separation of Powers doctrines under their Original Intent and, in some instances, explicitly. That means that a member of the Executive Branch of Government, such as the Governor, a county judge, or a mayor of a municipality, cannot by themselves enact legislation without their respect legislative branch first acting. Nevertheless, Governor Abbott and county judges and mayors across Texas enacted criminal ordinances throughout their panicked reaction to the COVID-19 panic. There is no statutory authority for any of those officials to enact criminal laws, such as the criminal conviction of Luther in Dallas County for opening her hair salon in order to attempt to feed her family.
Under the United States Constitution, there are important provisions, which apply to state action through the Fourteenth Amendment thereto. Just read the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The underlines are for emphasis, which this newspaper added to note the specific provisions, which the closure, lockdown, and stay-at-home orders clearly violated.
These are not legal opinions, which The Golden Hammer is pulling out of the air. A few courts across the United States have already begun to recognize the unconstitutionality of these orders, as this newspaper has reported. For example, an Illinois court ruled that Republican lawmaker Darren Bailey did not have to follow the governor’s stay-at-home order, because it violated Bailey’s constitutional right to assemble peaceably. Additionally, United States Attorney General William Barr recognized the unconstitutional actions in a memorandum he wrote to enforcement attorneys within the United States Department of Justice on April 27. In recent weeks, Governor Abbott and General Paxton have both argued that the shutdown orders could not apply to houses of worship, particularly after the outcry when Florida law enforcement officials arrested a Tampa area preacher for holding church services.
It’s important to recall that only one provision in the United States Constitution even allows for suspension of a right during an emergency. In Article I, Section 9, Sub-Section 2 of the Constitution, the writ of habeas corpus may be suspended in times of rebellion or invasion, if the public safety requires such suspension.
The Governor’s and General Paxton’s written works are remarkable, because they both are trying to shift away from support of the Governor’s own Executive Order GA-18, which he issued on April 27.
Even they seem to acknowledge the point that, if a community, state, or the Nation confront a public safety crisis, government cannot enact emergency powers in a Constitutional Republic. If Americans and Texans really want government to have such powers, they will need to amend the United States Constitution and the Texas Constitution to give their rights away.
The Governor’s May 7 press release follows:
What is so remarkable about Governor Abbott’s press release is his disavowal of his own executive orders in which he had attempted to threaten Texans with jail time for violations.
Attorney General’s May 7 letter to Dallas County Judges follows: