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Tags: Coronavirus | Law Enforcement | michigan | kentucky | whitmer | beshear

Why Is the ACLU Silent on Coronavirus Crackdowns?

aclu we the people
(Piotr Sawt/Dreamstime)

Clarence McKee By Saturday, 18 April 2020 07:33 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Many of the nation’s governors and mayors are falling over themselves trying to see who can act the toughest against COVID-19 — regardless of the impact of their "executive order" edicts on basic civil liberties.

There definitely is a compelling state interest in protecting the public’s health in the fight against the virus which must be fought and destroyed.

The question is how much is too much?

Is the cure worse than the disease when governors and mayors can unilaterally step on basic constitutional rights, without any checks or balances by the legislative or judicial branches of government — or pushback by civil liberties groups or a compliant Democrat-aligned media?

It's common knowledge that smoking is bad for your health as is excessive consumption of alcohol. But can a governor or mayor mandate that there can be no smoking or drinking in a state or city because it poses a threat to the public health?

A legislative body could issue a mandate that there can be no smoking or sales of alcohol to persons below a certain age and impose penalties for disobeying.

For a governor or mayor to do so unilaterally, without a statutory basis, would be quite a stretch.

In this current virus war, is the next step unilaterally ordering people to wear a mask or go to jail, pay a fine, or both? Ordering all stores to deny entrance to anyone not wearing a mask or risk losing their business license?

I am referring to unilateral "orders/mandates," not guidelines or suggestions.

Some of the more egregious offenders include Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer who, among other mandates, directed that "Big box stores . . . close areas of the store that are dedicated to things like carpet, flooring, furniture, garden centers, plant nurseries or paint.

At her whim, the people of Michigan can’t buy furniture, paint or go into the garden areas at such stores.

If you think that is bad, such stores can’t advertise or promote "goods that are not groceries medical supplies, or items that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and basic operation of residences."

Michiganders are telling the governor that they are not sheep and she is not their shepherd.

More than 200,000 of them have signed a petition for her removal, thousands protested in the state capital and Sheriffs from four different Michigan counties said they would not strictly enforce her social-distancing restrictions.

Equally disturbing is Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, a Democrat, urging his state's residents to remain indoors for the Easter holiday; ordering that anyone who broke the state’s stay-at-home order would have to self-quarantine for two weeks.

And how would he enforce his order?

He said the license plates of any person attending Easter services or other gatherings would receive quarantine notices — upon what legislative authority?

Some law enforcement agencies use such tactics against those soliciting sex from prostitutes — "We will record your license plate number so don’t go to those areas."

Why are such mostly unchallenged edicts by mayors and governors dangerous?

According to an April 7 USA Today article, in states that have released racial information, the data shows that blacks are dying at disproportionately higher rates than whites.

For example:

  • In Illinois, where only 15% of the state population is black, 42.9 percent of the deaths were black.
  • In Michigan, blacks account for 14% of the state population but constitute 33 percent of COVID-19 cases and 40% of deaths.
  • In Louisiana, blacks make up 32% of the state population but account for 70 percent of the virus deaths.

Given the rush to unilateral mandates over the past few months, do these statistics mean that movement to and from predominately black communities could be restricted; or, temperatures be taken in a kind of random "stop and temp-check" procedure to stop the spread of the virus in such communities?

Let’s hope not.

It would not be tolerated by black leaders, civil rights, and hopefully civil libertarians.

However, from its inaction and silence thus far on the above executive actions, we can assume that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has no problem with the unchecked power of these officials.

Most of the mayors and governors who imposed such restrictive edicts would like to be reimbursed by the federal government for the cost of their pandemic losses.

Let’s see how many will be as equally willing to seek reparations from China for its lack of transparency and coverup of the virus which reaped havoc on their cities and states.

Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political, and media relations consulting firm in Florida. He held several positions in the Reagan administration as well as in the Reagan presidential campaigns. He is a former co-owner of WTVT-TV in Tampa and former president of the Florida Association of Broadcasters. Read more of his reports — Go Here Now.

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ClarenceVMcKee
From its inaction and silence thus far on the above executive actions, we can assume that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has no problem with the unchecked power of these officials.
michigan, kentucky, whitmer, beshear
811
2020-33-18
Saturday, 18 April 2020 07:33 AM
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