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Join us for a live (online) event: Constitutional Rights in the Age of Government Overreach (UPDATED DATE/TIME)

Join us for a live (online) event: Constitutional Rights in the Age of Government Overreach (UPDATED DATE/TIME)

It’s a brave new world and a new experience for us, but we’re excited to keep the ball rolling, even if the modern world is shut down.

NOTE: Event originally planned for Thursday night April 23, but has been moved to Sunday Night, April 26. at 8:30 p.m.

We’d hoped to have have our next and third speaking tour and a handful of Reader Receptions in Florida this past March. But, like the rest of the world, our plans were foiled by a Chinese lab experiment gone wrong (or right).

In person events are out of the question for the foreseeable future, depending on the fascist level of state governance, so in the mean time, we’ll be joining the droves of online conference goers and will host our first ever online webinar Sunday, April 26th at 8:30 PM ET (was originally scheduled for Thursday the 23rd).

It’s a brave new world and a new experience for us, but we’re excited to keep the ball rolling, even if the modern world is shut down.

Petty tyrants are flexing their tiny muscles to put the squeeze on individual liberty in the midst of a global crisis (because that’s what cowards do) and all in the name of safety. But what about our rights? How do they square with safety issues in the midst of a global pandemic?

I’ll be hosting Professor Jacobson’s discussion of Constitutional Rights in the Age of Government Overreach.

More information is forthcoming, so be sure you have subscribed to Morning Insurrection for all the details on our upcoming live event.

Professor Jacobson will be taking some (not all, because time is finite) questions from our wonderful readers. If you have questions pertaining to government overreach during the COVID-19 pandemic, leave them in the comment section beneath (ON THIS POST). We’ll do our best to get to as many questions as possible. It’s not quite the same as being able to meet you in person and bump elbows, but we’re excited nonetheless.

Thanks for being part of the Legal Insurrection family. We look forward to taking your questions!


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Article IV, Section 4, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution states, “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government.” A republican form of government is one in which the ultimate lawmaking power resides in representatives elected by the people.

However, in the name of combating the coronavirus pandemic, more and more state governors are ruling by decree, curtailing freedoms and ordering residents to stay at home.

Due process is being eroded as governors and mayors across the country take away the livelihood of their residents, restrict people’s freedom to travel, forbid religious gatherings in places of worship, and threaten to put people in jail who refuse to abide by city and state orders to stay at home.


The appalling truth in all this. Each one of these governors, mayors, their many counselors such as state attorney generals, and others involved in the drafting of these “orders,” each one of them has taken a PERSONAL oath to support and defend the US Constitution (per Article VI) and the constitution of their respective states.

Now you know the hard truth – they neither give a rat’s ass for the constitutions nor us, the citizens.

They look upon us, and treat us, as subjects to be ruled, not citizens to be respected.

Randy Steinberg | April 16, 2020 at 9:57 pm

I would agree with the comment above by fscarn, but it seems to me, based on my understanding of it, that most of the raw power being exercised is being done at the State and Local levels.

Trump has not used overbearing Federal power, but the draconian orders are being made by Governors, mayors, town councils, etc.

Maybe there will be court cases one day that reverse some of the harm, but it seems what we can do to avoid or curb some of the excesses is to get State constitutions changed to not allow such extreme police powers.

Does Prof. Jacobson think this is where efforts should be made? Poor Governors may be recalled or not re-elected, but unless these State and local laws are changed, the next person who comes along can do it all over again whenever the next “emergency” arises. Where should the legal response to these abuses be focused the most?

    Great points Mr. Steinberg. More than once I have thought about what will happen next time.. Any excuse for a power grab? Even at the county level.

    Later on, sure. But right now, we should be out there defying these tyrants. Especially if your state or county has satisfied all federal requirements.

    I am very confident that the police will not enforce unconstitutional orders against us. I’ve had a high-ranking police official in a major CA city assure me that the cops are NOT on board with the politicians. It’s their families and neighbors too.

    On another note, I expect the organized governors’ resistance will collapse very quickly as states begin to open up and collecting revenues from the activity. CA and NY are trying to leverage their failing economies to squeeze federal bailouts for their bankrupt pensions and state budgets. It’s all about to collapse very quickly. That’s why Trump left the details up to the governors. Then he immediately starts his tweet campaign demanding state after state to open up.

Mark Levin makes the point that the Interstate Commerce clause gives the federal government the ability to override state overreach if it interferes with such commerce.

    The states will take it to SCOTUS so the case would have to be taken up immediately for that to save us in the short term. Coin toss IMHO.

      Tom Servo in reply to Pasadena Phil. | April 17, 2020 at 10:17 am

      The SCOTUS has pledged that they will give this all due consideration and promise to return a decision as soon as this time, next year. Two years, tops. They promise.

This was all decided upon over a hundred years ago with the case of “Typhoid Mary”. Constitutional rights can be and are completely disregarded in times of public health emergencies.

In other words, the Constitution is not a suicide pact.

    MarkSmith in reply to maxmillion. | April 16, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    Good Point about Typhoid Mary. Like any constitutional issue, broad interpretation is not allow when it comes to denying rights.

    What would be the bases for quarantining mass population without proof and risk. I see two things. Protecting the at risk and preventing spread from know risk. All others fall in the business as usual.

    Remember over 5300 people died every week in the US. 2.6 M annually. Life is terminal. We all are suppose to died. You can’t prevent that.

    Restricting exposure prevents herd immunity. That creates a continued risk. Vaccines seem to be the answer, but current treatments also work one exposed.

    A threshold need to be established. It is foolish to expect that people will not get it.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to MarkSmith. | April 17, 2020 at 12:53 am

      What what what???????

      You mean life is hazardous to your health????????

        Well if you breath enough air you eventually die. I say we ban air.

        One thing is Virus has done is show that Climate change science is a bunch of bs too. Some truth in everything, but it is a all out money grab for science dollars in many cases.

    If that is true, and I don’t know, then it is a bad law that has to be revisited. There is no such thing as “settled law”.

I see no suggestion of an actual legal decision involving “Typhoid Mary.”

Moreover, the facts recited in the Wiki article clearly establish that, knowing she was an asymptomatic carrier who posed a clear threat to those with whom she came in contact, having promised to work in occupations that minimized the risk of such contact, and having promised to take reasonable precautions to prevent herself from transmitting typhoid to others, she intentionally did none of those things, and infected, and caused the deaths of multiple additional persons. Forcibly quarantining such a person is hardly a violation of her constitutional rights.

So your claim that “Constitutional rights can be and are completely disregarded in times of public health emergencies” appears to be entirely unsupported by anything in the material you cite.

    MarkSmith in reply to Wisewerds. | April 16, 2020 at 11:31 pm

    I disagree. If large numbers of people are dying and the cause is unknown or can not be managed, I do think public safety can be invoked. It just can’t be invoked in a broad matter like we are doing today. Why should someone from Bizmark have to quarantine when the problem is in New York? But, if New York is ground zero, then New York should have been quarantined. Trumps mistake, that is why it is up and down New Jersey and Boston.

    I think the risk of exposure is higher than the flu, but it is not at the level to support the shutdown.

      Another Voice in reply to MarkSmith. | April 17, 2020 at 1:09 am

      I agree with you on point of “the one size fits all” mentality applied to a quarantine. I also apply the same to lockdowns. Using New York with 62 counties spread out over 54,556 sq. miles it is not the state which is the epicenter, but the Tri-County area of NYC (8 counties), abutting NJ, CT. which account for reporting of 222,284 cases and 12,192 deaths. We people in the hither lands of rural Up State New York have 30 counties which combined count for only 900 (1/2 of 1%) of these cases and same fraction in deaths. The other 24 counties in and around the cities of Buffalo, Albany and Syracuse for their size in population, pick up only an larger but insignificant fraction of the reported cases and deaths. It does not make any sense to keep in place the types of limitations on families, children and business owners in the areas which by nature of life style and location are not a part of metro areas and should not have to have the burden of the “one size fits all” fix Cuomo has placed on our state. As of today it is extended to May 15th but adding a mandate of every person in the state will wear a face mask in public.

      Sanddog in reply to MarkSmith. | April 17, 2020 at 3:42 am

      Even localized, does it make sense to restrict the rights of 1000 people to save the life of one person? 500 for one? 100?

        MarkSmith in reply to Sanddog. | April 17, 2020 at 9:32 am

        It is a real time moral dilemma. Why does a police man have a right to detain? Why does someone be a guardian for another person? The example of Typhoid Mary is actually a good example. The drama “suicide” statement takes away from the point.

        When and at what point does the State have an interest in protecting the public. The point is the State is suppose to be protect our liberties. How can you do that when everyone is locked up. Whose liberties are you protecting?

        I personally think the Patriots revolted from England with a lot less interference than what we are experiencing

What attire is recommended for the online conference? Or will we be able to maintain or visual anonymity?

the whole idea of the ‘lock downs’ was at first to ‘flatten the curve’ apparently the curve is flattened, but now we need a Racine, don’t think the petty dictators are going to give up the power the assumed easily

    amwick in reply to ronk. | April 18, 2020 at 8:32 am

    Laura Ingraham (yes, she can be annoying) has called this moving the goal posts.. Pretty soon they will just dismantle them and say tough shit.

supposed to be vaccine

Thanks for the opportunity to pose questions. Here are a few.

1. With the physical ‘public square’ placed off limits in many locations does this situation require revisiting the idea of the digital/virtual platforms being held to account for viewpoint discrimination?

2. What do believe is the most direct route to reigning in overreaching officials? DoJ issuing advisory opinions to set the boundaries of constitutional action? Suits in Federal court by citizens to remedy civil rights violations?

3. How long are/ how long should these emergency actions restraining the normal lives of the citizenry be allowed to continue/as a general policy matter? Some have suggested restrictions may last until an effective vaccine is produced in 18 months, other reports suggest viral mutation will prevent development of an effective vaccine.

4. The ‘temporary’ measures put in place by executives at the State and local level don’t seem to have an effective end date. Should Congress/Courts/Legislatures be taking steps to place a front end time limit upon emergency powers before the executive is required to get affirmative approval from the legislature to continue them beyond say 30 days?

Thanks for the opportunity to submit some questions.

Thanks for providing this opportunity. The questions/issues being covered in the comments have caused me to be more than a little curious.

After watching the ACLU attack, undermine and destroy conservative/constitutional values for decades under the guise of protecting our civil rights, I cannot recall these bozos weighing in on the blatant abuses of authority we are currently experiencing.

From the police and DA’s refusing to arrest or detain criminals, as well as ignoring any rights actual law-abiding citizens possess, to the new law-by-decree being exercised by governors and mayors, where are the “civil rights” crowd from the ACLU? If I missed their current involvement, please correct me.

“There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.”–Daniel Webster

American Human | April 17, 2020 at 10:52 am

What legal affect does an executive order have on the ordinary citizen?
What about an executive order from a governor for his/her state?

Kemberlee, this question isn’t directed to the topic of the Constitutional Rights online event, but I’d like you to make note of it since it’s on my mind this morning and perhaps ask the good a Professor to give us his thoughts at some point on LI.

As a (now retired) defense counsel I closely follow developments in my former profession. As discussion intensifies over treatments and vaccines to combat this Coronavirus and any that may follow, we’re noticing increasing conversations within the plaintiff’s bar concerning possible class action lawsuits against pharmacological companies for (as yet speculative) injury to people as a result of new or innovative drugs. While researchers race to develop life-saving treatment, and the population cries out for something that will work, a certain segment of society appears to be hoping to profit from failure. Frankly that disgusts me. I’d like the Professor to opine on what possible additional legal remedies and/or legislative safeguards can be put into place relative to this pandemic to prevent commercials such as, “If you’ve been injured by hydroxychlorquine…” from taking over our airways in a few months.

Would one please address the mail-in ballot issue?

Our system is designed to leave the states with broad, undefined police powers to deal with internal emergencies. (As opposed to the Fed’s limited, defined powers). We’ve seen states and localities seemingly push those powers far beyond what’s needed and in often capricious ways, for example in New Jersey and Michigan. What are the limits to these police powers and, with the incorporation of much of the Bill of Rights against the states, does the Fed have a role to play in reining in at least the worst abuses? (DOJ has made some rumblings) Are citizen court challenges likely to succeed, as happened in Kentucky? And thank you for hosting this.

I’d like to know why so few have brought up the idea that a gov’t-mandated shutdown (or restriction on what is salable) is a 5th AMendment taking?

“Petty tyrants are flexing their tiny muscles to put the squeeze on individual liberty…”

Who writes your stuff, D. H. Lawrence?

as anyone noticed that as the scenario is getting better the democratic governors are ratcheting up the bans, to use the governor of mi, she bans gardening even though she said they don’t need to do it, seems like they expect the ban to last until november

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to ronk. | April 18, 2020 at 9:51 am

    Half Whit only got in with George Soros DIRTY Money.

    We have to ban ANYTHING FOR MONEY Gretchen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have rotted from within. We’re close to collapse: not because our military is weak, and not because of half of America. We have rotted from within because of the disease called the swamp/left/islamic axis that we have not only allowed to fester, but we which we have actually voted rats into office to further it. (Boehner, romney, mccain, corker and flake come to mind.)

Until we take back our educational systems, the rot will continue as the older generation dies off.


1. While it is better for each state to decide when and how to reopen their state, do you think that the President has the authority to either close or open up the country? Does declaring a National Health Emergency and declaring all 50 states to be in a state of emergency create an authority?

2. Isn’t it the decision of the president to decide when to lift the various international travel bans as well as to decide what type of testing or proof of health would be required in order to enter the country?

After all, the Customs Department is part of the Federal Government. So Cuomo may be able to keep the international airports in NY stay open, he does not have any authority to allow a foreigner into the country, correct?

I just saw this…

A woman arrested in NJ for planning a protest.. This is a perfect example of the state abrogating constitutional rights..

Here is a link..

NJ is out of control.

Kemberlee Kaye | April 22, 2020 at 6:29 pm

Hey y’all! Will be sending an email tonight, but please note that our event has been moved from Thursday evening to Sunday evening. Look forward to taking your questions!