Last Thursday and Friday, The Donald declared that States which failed to allow their residents religious freedom by denying their right to assemble and do other things that are matters of religion were wrong. On Friday he commanded America’s governors to immediately reopen churches and other places of worship shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic, threatening to “override” the state leaders if they refused to follow his directive.
I have been reading that Trump has “no authority” to order States to permit worship. Even the esteemed Judge Napolitano claims Trump “has no right” to overrule the State governors.
That is absolute Statist garbage. I disagree with them, because I read what the Constitution states.
The Constitution says that the Federal Government guarantees the states a republican form of government.
It is understood, universally, at least since the Civil War, that “a republican form of government” means that States must abide by the limits of the Bill of Rights (and the rest of the Constitution, of course).
If a State denies ANY of those restrictions apply, by taking away those God-given rights which the Constitution is supposed to protect, ANY of the three branches of the Federal Government (Congress, Executive, or Court) has an OBLIGATION to take action to restore republican – i.e. Constitutional – government to that State.
In addition, the President is responsible for enforcing the law – which includes the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Within limits, he is the person who decides what measures to take to enforce the law. In this case, the Constitutional imperative to restore republican government.
Therefore, he DOES have the power to take this action:
He has requested States to stop denying people their rights, time and time again – both directly and through the DOJ. He has warned them, again and again, directly and through the DOJ.
So it is fully appropriate – constitutional and legal – for him to order them publicly that he will make them. He doesn’t need the courts or Congress to do this, any more than Eisenhower needed them to send troops to Little Rock when the government of the State of Arkansas denied black students their rights.
For that matter, why didn’t their hero FDR, get Congress to approve a Declaration of War BEFORE the sailors and soldiers in Hawaii could fire back at Japanese attackers? (Not saying that FDR didn’t set that up.) After all, didn’t we still believe that only Congress could declare war, back then? Or at least pass an enabling “war powers” act?
You don’t suppose it has anything to do with political affiliation and the Never-Trump deep state (“Orange mad bad”), so you? I suspect that if Obama had done this (however unlikely that might have been), the Dems would be laying palm branches on the street in front of his limo. Praising him for his boldness and resolve. Urging him to send in brother Eric’s storm troopers to beard the Republican governors stealing people’s rights – guarding the doors of the congregations against the racist cops and medical enforcers. If it were Joe Biden in power, his harsh words against the governors would no doubt be compared to his courage in standing up to the bully at the swimming pole (Popcorn or Sugar Pop, or whoever).
(But that is just because I have grown to despise the so-called Progressives (call them “Regressives” as my older son Gareth does) so much, and am not spending enough time praying for their souls and minds.)
It should be up to a local congregation to decide whether or not to meet physically or not – and it should be up to each individual christian (or member of any faith) to decide whether to assemble or not.
(Time out for a religious argument here: We are NOT going to face judgment in groups – not families, not congregations, and certainly not “fellowships” or “dioceses” or “synods.” Each of us must individually decide for ourselves and how we love God and love our families and friends. It is wrong for someone who styles themselves a bishop or archbishop or president or pope or governor or mayor or county executive to do so. To decide whether or not the local body of Christ (or other group) must or cannot assemble. And they, too, must answer to God for their choices.
No doubt I shall be carefully, completely, and soundly castigated for daring to speak up in defense of ANYTHING Donald Trump does. After all, Trump is evil incarnate – even to millions of people who do not believe in God or “evil.” I may even be declared to be a heretic for refusing to stand up for States’ rights, for local government. I look at it being one of the rare times the FedGov can and should stand up for liberty.
As I’ve stated before, I’m blessed to live in South Dakota, one of the Axis of Evil that did NOT violate the Constitution (US or State) by prohibited the free exercise of religion (and many other things). But I have seen the evil committed in the name of “saving lives” and this is just one of many, in too many States.