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Stay At Home Orders

Discussion in 'Constitutional Law & Civil Rights' started by mightymoose, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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  2. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Look at the broad language of the law. The legislators knew that language was there and voted for that. If they wanted to restrict the authority just to riots they easily could have used language to do just that. All they'd have to do is strike the words "disaster or emergency" from § 12-10-17. But the fact that they included those terms tells me that they indeed contemplated disasters and other emergencies arising other than just riots that may need this kind of action. As the courts repeatedly say, the best indication of the intent of the legislature is the actual text of the statutes they write.

    For the reasons stated above, I disagree with you on that.

    It might be that New Mexicans might protest the use of the law. That does not equate the use of the law being beyond the scope of the government's powers. We have had people protest perfectly valid laws in the past and I'm sure we will again in the future. If the majority of voters in the state want a change in the law, well they can petition for that. That's what democracy is about. But protest does not equate with a government act being invalid.

    If the protestors use violence to object to it, then my view is that the government is justified in using appropriate means to suppress that violence and ought to lock up those who engaged in the violent acts. Our federal and state constitutions and laws do not give people the right to use violence as a way to make their political points.
     
  3. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    As long as they act peacefully I'm all in favor of people expressing their views on what government does. I have no sympathy for those who would use violence.

    If they choose to break the law (i.e. civil disobedience) as their form of protest, though, they have to be willing to suffer the consequences of that
    .
     
  4. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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  5. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    My employer, a research university, has a lot of people out on the front lines. We have major medical school and a school of public health that have research going, and the teaching hospitals we work with are some of the finest in the country. My job is a walk in the park compared to what they’re doing. However, until you have (as I have) talked down a terrified young woman in her first job who thinks she’s been infected and needs to know where and how she can be tested; until you have (as I have) sat helplessly as a grieving widow breaks down as she attempts to report the death of her husband to this virus and all you can say is, “I’m so sorry, ma’am”; until you have (as I have) reassured dozens of frightened retirees and older employees that the university is not going to close and thus take their health insurance away, I would like to respectfully invite you to keep your damn mouth shut about how your “rights” are being infringed on. Your “rights” to move around freely do not supersede someone else’s right to be alive. Not to mention telling you flat out, wear a damn mask. It’s not going to kill you. It’s not even going to inconvenience you. But it just might keep you from killing someone else. Or even keeping you from accidentally killing yourself in your own arrogance. This world does not revolve around you and what you want. Other people’s rights are as valid as yours. Nothing in the Constitution gives you the right to endanger other people with your “rights”.
     
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  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If people disturb the peace, law enforcement has the ability to restore the public peace and arrest any miscreants.

    However, whether the public peace was breached isn't resolved because arrests were effected.

    The miscreants can avail themselves of due process and a verdict will be rendered by a judge or jury, then and only then, will the outcome be known.



    A judge or jury will determine IF any laws were broken and who (if anyone) was/were responsible for breaking that (those) law(s).
     
  7. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    True enough, but a defense that "I broke the law protesting a law or government act I didn't like" is not a valid defense.
     
  8. mightymoose

    mightymoose Law Topic Starter Moderator

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    It is a valid defense if the law, or executive order, is unlawful. Yes, people have to suck up the consequences in the mean time, and be prepared a decision may go against them, but they are certainly free to act as they choose despite the fears of others.
     
  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I never made any such assertion.

    In fact, the assertion you posited is one of the dumbest ones I've ever read about.

    The fact remains, that an arrest doesn't mean the arrestee was convicted of the crime for which the person was arrested.

    Yet, all of the RIGHTS bestowed upon anyone fortunate to inhabit any US state or US territory remain INTACT despite the efforts of anyone desirous of usurping any of those God given RIGHTS!

    Despots come, despots go, despite the efforts of those despots; our constitution still protects all of us, not just some of us.
     
  10. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Let's be clear: if you are prosecuted for violating a law and your defense is that the particular law you are being prosecuted for is unconstitutional or otherwise invalid and the courts agree with you then you had a good defense.

    But if you violate a law that is perfectly valid to protest another law that you think is invalid, you won't have a good defense to prosecution by arguing the other law was invalid.


    Just understand that if you violate a law because you think it invalid and the courts don't toss it out as invalid, then those others sitting in the jury will indeed be a concern to you because if they don't see your actions as justified you'll get convicted.
     
  11. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    And I never said you did.

    I agree that defense of "I'm not guilty because I don't like the law" or "I'm not guilty because because in my opinion the law is invalid or unjust" is a very poor one.

    But some of the arguments I've seen by persons who object to the covid-19 related restrictions do not amount to much more than that.


    With all due respect to you and Thomas Jefferson, our rights are not God given. If your rights are violated you don't find God stepping in to protect you. It wasn't God speaking from the mountain dictating to the authors of the Bill of Rights what rights should be enshrined in our Constitution. The rights in our Constitution were provided for by a consensus of our founders — mere mortal men — after a political process that involved much debate and compromise. Fortunately for us, for the most part those founders were motivated by high ideals (support for slavery being a considerable blemish on those ideals). But the Constitution is not perfect and can be amended to suit the desires of the vast majority of the public. Thus, in the end our rights are provided for by the PEOPLE, which is nicely reflected in the preamble to the Constitution that starts out "We the People...." and that does not once mention any God given rights.
     
  12. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    :D

    Founder and former President of the USA Thomas Jefferson has been quoted as saying the opposite.

    Another one of the thousands of things that make this country great, unlike North Korea or Communist China, you can choose to worship anything or anyone.

    One is also free to worship or practice nothing.

    Our founders had an amazing idea, which has been tweaked over the last 200 odd years, and will probably be tweaked until the end of time.



    Unless you were there when Jefferson (along with the other founders) was(were) inspired to assist in the creation of this great nation, you know as little as I do (other than what you can glean from news accounts of the 18th century, biographies, and various books written about the founding and the founders.


    Which is why I rarely take note of the preamble, preferring to study our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and it's Bill of Rights.

    The fact that either of us is free to possess disparate beliefs, rather than spout the "party line" reveals the legacy our founders bequeathed to those who followed them.
     
  13. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Really? And exactly what quote is there from former President Jefferson in which he says God spoke directly to the delegates to the Constitutional Convention? I seemed to have missed that one in my civic studies. ;)

    I agree, but there seems to be a contingent of folks out there who insist that the U.S. is a "Christian nation" and that actively seek to have government project their religious beliefs on to others. Believers of other religions have also tried that, with less success. I think it is best when government does not refer to religion at all, leaving religion a matter solely to the individual.

    Correct, and I have read a number of those accounts which is what informs my understanding of how the founders arrived at the rights they enshrined in our Constitution.

    The Constitution is the Supreme law of the land and thus worthy study for lawyers, judges, and indeed the population as a whole. And while the preamble isn't itself law, it at least informs the goals the founders had in framing the Constitution. I think it a bit odd that you apparently elevate the Declaration over the preamble because on mentions God and the other does not. To me, that difference is meaningless. The Declaration is a fine document, but is no more law in this country than the preamble. I therefore consider the Declaration and the preamble to be about the same importance historically.
     
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  14. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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  15. mightymoose

    mightymoose Law Topic Starter Moderator

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  16. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    I disagree that this is a case destined for the Supreme Court. While it MIGHT end up there, it's far from guaranteed. A lot depends on how the 3rd Circuit rules on it, and how other circuits rule on similar issues. If a consensus among the circuits develops then the U.S. Supreme Court may feel no need to take up the issue.
     

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