By Emmanuel S. Tipon
There can be no tyrants where there are no slaves.– Jose Rizal
The riots and lootings in New York City, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and major cities in America are not protests against the killing of George Floyd but against the lockdowns, business closures, and trampling on civil rights by petty tyrants and petticoat tyrants which continue to this day even though almost six months have passed since the first death from coronavirus.
The most tyrannical Governors are Democrats or Demoncrats. The high water mark in tyranny is exemplified by the female Governor of Michigan who not only imposed the common stay at home directive but reportedly barred people from cutting their lawn, traveling to or from a second home within the state, getting together with people not related, or buying paint and home-improvement material not deemed essential. She has been challenged in court.
What is the basis of the Governors in imposing tyrannical orders? Police power, they say. What is this so-called “police power”? A female chief of police must think it is the power of the police for she reportedly imposed an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew from Good Friday to Easter Sunday.
According to the U.S. Supreme Court in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11, decided in 1905, the police power of a State embraces such reasonable regulations relating to matters completely within its territory, and not affecting the people of other States, established by legislative enactment, as will protect the public health and safety.
The case involved the question whether a citizen of the State of Massachusetts could be required to submit to vaccination for smallpox at a time when smallpox was prevalent in the City of Cambridge. The State had enacted a law providing that the board of health of a city, if in its opinion, it is necessary for the public health or safety shall require and enforce the vaccination of all inhabitants and whoever refuses shall forfeit five dollars. The City of Cambridge adopted a regulation providing that all persons not protected by vaccination should be vaccinated or revaccinated.
Jacobson refused to be vaccinated. He was prosecuted and convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of five dollars. He challenged the prosecution all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. He argued that the regulations were in derogation of his rights under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, especially the clause that no State shall enforce any law abridging the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, nor deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. The Supreme Court affirmed his conviction. Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905), holding that the liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States does not import an absolute right in each person to be at all times, and in all circumstances wholly freed from restraint.
This more than 100-year old case has been cited by the petty and petticoat tyrants and/or their defenders in justifying their tyrannical orders.
Their reliance is misplaced. Jacobson v. Massachusetts teaches us that to be a valid exercise of the police power there must be (1) a legislative enactment authorizing the adoption of regulations, (2) the regulations must be reasonable, and (3) the regulations will protect the public health and safety.
Jacobson was properly convicted because these three requirements were present. (1) Massachusetts had adopted a law authorizing the board of health of cities to adopt regulations for the vaccination of all persons, (2) the regulations adopted – vaccination – was reasonable, and (3) the regulations would protect the public health and safety.
In Michigan, for example, was there a legislative enactment empowering the Governor to adopt regulations to cope with the coronavirus threat? Were the regulations imposed, such as prohibiting the mowing of laws or painting a house, reasonable? Would such regulations protect the public health and safety?
In your State, does the particular regulation promulgated by your Governor or Mayor meet the three requirements of Jacobson? If not, and you are charged with violating such regulation and threatened with a misdemeanor charge and/or jail time, be brave, defend yourself, and protect your freedom, invoking Jacobson.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” Ronald Reagan.
“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” – Martin Luther King.