And that is proving to be especially true during times of crisis.
All around the country, Democrat mayors and governors are implementing the most draconian rules in response to the coronavirus outbreak. In addition to deeming which businesses are “essential” and which are not, they are restricting movement, denying people the right to assemble, and forbidding the faithful from attending religious services.
Now, one of them — Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, is going a step further.
As reported by the New York Post, she has threatened residents with a $5,000 fine and 90 days in jail if they are caught leaving their homes during her coronavirus ‘lockdown’ order.
The Post further notes that residents and civil libertarians are increasingly alarmed by the threat, not just because it would amount to an unacceptable and likely unconstitutional action, but also because at least five inmates at the city’s 1,700-inmate jail near Capitol Hill have tested positive for the COVID-19 infection.
“Our message remains the same: Stay home,” she said in a Monday statement. Her order provides exemptions for grocery shopping, seeking medical care, work and other activities she and the city council have deemed “essential.” People can run and exercise outside too, but it cannot involve working out with people who aren’t cohabitants.
Bowser’s order is similar to edicts in neighboring Maryland and Virginia, but it was a shock to DC residents because there are just (as of now) 401 cases in D.C. out of about 160,000.
The threat even got the attention of the White House.
“This is insane. Criminal penalties?” tweeted Mercedes Schlapp, President Trump’s former White House director of strategic communications and an adviser to his re-election campaign.
Monica Hopkins, the ACLU’s executive director of the D.C. chapter, also told the Post that “we would be deeply concerned” if any residents were actually arrested and then fined or jailed under the order.
“When we saw this order, we thought, ‘You want to send them where?'” Hopkins said. “People being arrested for that causes all sorts of problems that are antithetical to the goals of lessening the virus.”
But then, the D.C. chapter filed suit Monday demanding the appointment of an expert to advise ways to depopulate the city’s jail of inmates who are older, non-violent, and health-compromised — as if releasing them into the general population, where there are coronavirus cases, is a better way to protect them rather than keeping them sequestered in jail and away from infected people.
As for Hopkins, she also said she was concerned that people arrested for violating Bower’s order would be locked up for an inordinate amount of time because courts in the district are operating in a limited capacity. (Related: ANALYSIS: Nearly every person dying from the coronavirus likely has these three things in common.)
Meanwhile, as reported by The National Sentinel, a pair of federal judges have temporarily blocked governors who have deemed abortions “elective” medical procedures from banning them until the coronavirus emergency passes.
The judges have ruled that because abortion has been deemed ‘an absolute constitutional right’ by the Supreme Court, governors don’t have the authority to ban them ever, for any reason.
“So, are we hearing this right — governors can ban our constitutionally-protected and guaranteed right to assembly? They can ban us from gathering together in our houses of worship? They can ban us from freely traveling through our states or our country? They can ban us from purchasing a gun as part of our right to keep and bear arms for self-defense? All of which are being implemented, we’re told, to ‘stop the spread of the virus,’” the site noted.
"But they can’t designate abortions elective medical procedures and ban them temporarily as a means of limiting the virus’ spread?”