The Trump Department of Justice wrote a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom warning him that his unlawful order for banning church services put an “unfair” burden on religious institutions and that “there is no pandemic exception to the US Constitution and its Bill of Rights” regarding his treatment of them.
The Washington Examiner reported:
The Justice Department warned California Gov. Gavin Newsom in a letter that his order banning church services puts an “unfair burden” on religious institutions.
The letter, sent by the department’s Civil Rights Division, expressed concerns that Newsom’s still undetermined opening date for churches amounted to “unequal treatment of faith communities,” and urged that the governor bump up houses of worship from phase two to phase three of his five-stage opening plan. California is currently in phase two.
“Simply put, there is no pandemic exception to the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights,” wrote Eric Dreiband, the lead attorney in a team assembled by Attorney General William Barr to examine religious liberty disputes amid state shutdown orders.
The DOJ also noted that it was unfair that churches be forced to close entirely while so-called “essential” businesses were allowed to remain open.
“This facially discriminates against religious exercise,” Dreiband wrote. “California has not shown why interactions in offices and studios of the entertainment industry, and in-person operations to facilitate nonessential ecommerce, are included on the list as being allowed with social distancing where telework is not practical, while gatherings with social distancing for purposes of religious worship are forbidden, regardless of whether remote worship is practical or not.”
OK, while I agree with the premise that there is no pandemic exception in the Constitution for these lockdowns, there is also no exception to demand this social distancing nonsense. There is no exception for forcing some businesses to operate completely different than others, such as restaurants being closed, but you can get take out from the same establishments. There is no constitutional authority for anyone to demand people wear masks. There is no constitutional authority to fine and threaten business owners for providing services to anyone that wants them.
But we see the hypocrisy and inconsistency in this letter don’t we?
Don’t get me wrong, the premise is right that Dreiband is pointing out, but his inconsistency to even mention social distancing is undermining the very claim he is making. After all, where is authority to demand such a thing?
Furthermore, Matt Palumbo writes:
Lockdowns were initially justified under the basis that we have “fifteen days to flatten the curve.” They’ve since continued for two months, and some Blue State Governors have gone as far as to say they won’t fully reopen until a vaccine is available. That’s just a fancy way of justifying a “lockdown forever” policy, because the fastest vaccine ever brought to market took four years. While it is great to see some companies stating that they’ll be able to have a vaccine within a year, it was be an unprecedented feat (and still way to long to delay reopening regardless).
By memorial day every state will have removed restrictions to some extent, but it’s increasingly looking like it’s the people, not the government, that are determining when lockdowns end (and the extent to which they’ll obey other rules in place). And while state and local governments may try to prevent that, the DOJ is stepping in, especially when it comes to protecting religious freedom.
Where are lockdown permitted in the US Constitution, Mr. Dreiband? Yet, the president has specifically said he is the one running the show when it comes to “re-opening” America.
….It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons. With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue. A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2020
Governors, get your states testing programs & apparatus perfected. Be ready, big things are happening. No excuses! The Federal Government is there to help. We are testing more than any country in the World. Also, gear up with Face Masks!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2020
Where did he get that authority, Mr. Dreiband? He didn’t get it from the US Constitution.
Why are there phases to re-opening? Where is that in the Constitution? Answer: None of it is in there. Anyone that disagrees, cite Article, Section and Clause.
It’s also interesting to note that there is no justification in the Constitution for the president to declare a “national state of emergency” either and to dole out money in such instances or commandeer privately owned businesses for whatever reason. Yet, he has done it and gone right along with Republicans and Democrats in unconstitutional spending to the tune of trillions of dollars in just the past few months.
He is also overseeing the development and distribution of vaccines under Operation Warp Speed.
And where in the Constitution does the president have the authority to call up the military into service like this? That’s Congress’ job, not the president’s. I’m pretty sure the founders would have disagreed with calling up the military to vaccinate the population too.
I’m pretty sure the White House won’t be getting a letter about its unconstitutional behavior though.
The DOJ has previously filed a statement of interest in the Mississippi Church case involving fines at a drive-in service and also supporting a Virginia Church that is suing Governor Ralph Northam.
And while the DOJ is rightfully doing that, they leave off dealing with the president about his actions in all of this, as well as bringing justice to some of the biggest corrupt politicians in modern times, which is the job of the Executive Branch (Article 2, Section 3 US Constitution).
Originally published by Tim Brown at Sons of Liberty Media.
Tim Brown is an author and Editor at FreedomOutpost.com, SonsOfLibertyMedia.com, GunsInTheNews.com and TheWashingtonStandard.com. He is husband to his “more precious than rubies” wife, father of 10 “mighty arrows”, jack of all trades, Christian and lover of liberty. He resides in the U.S. occupied Great State of South Carolina. . Follow Tim on Twitter. Also check him out on Gab, Minds, MeWe, Spreely, Mumbl It and Steemit