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Attorney Mark Meuser. (Photo: Twitter)

Does Gov. Newsom Have the Power to Shut Down Private Businesses Because of Coronavirus?

Do counties really have the authority to order everyone to stay at home? Are Shelter in Place Laws Valid?

By Katy Grimes, March 19, 2020 3:26 pm

Can a health officer issue a quarantine of everyone in the county?

 

California Constitutional-Election Law Attorney Attorney Mark Meuser has been questioned so much about the Coronavirus shelter in place orders, and social distancing, he prepared a video and comprehensive explanation of the executive Orders issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom, and California counties public health officials’ orders.

 

Mark Meuser:

I have been asked by numerous people to help them understand what is going on in the state of California regarding the shutting down of businesses and shelter in place laws. Does the governor really have the power to shut down private businesses? Do counties really have the authority to order everyone to stay at home? This video is my attempt to provide some basic understanding about the difference between martial law and the governor declaring a state of emergency. In this video, we will look at California statutes, the Governors Executive Orders, and the subsequent county health orders of shelter in place. Hopefully as we go through all these documents, you will gain a better understanding of what exactly is going on in this state.

Because of all the misinformation and a lack of information regarding what is going on, if you find this video helpful, can I ask you to share this video on your social media. Tell your friends and family to watch this video so that they can be better educated on what exactly is going on legally that led to all these shelter in place laws.

Please remember that things are changing by the minute and as such, it may not necessarily reflect the most current legal developments. As such, all the information presented here is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should seek the advice of legal counsel of your choice before acting upon any of the information contained in this video.

First off, let’s start off with the term Martial Law. What is Martial Law, and when can the governor declare Martial Law?

California Military and Veterans Code Section 143 is the statute that gives the Governor authority to proclaim Martial Law. This statute reads:

Whenever the Governor is satisfied that rebellion, insurrection, tumult or riot exists in any part of the state the Governor may, by proclamation, declareto be in a state of insurrection, and he or she may thereupon order into the service of the state any number and description of the active militia, or unorganized militia, as he or she deems necessary, to serve for a term and under the command of any officer as he or she directs.

As you can see, we are not currently in a state of rebellion, insurrection, tumult or riots and as such, the Governor of the State does not have the power to declare martial law. However, that being said, the Governor does have broad powers under the California Emergency Services Act. The California Emergency Services Act can be found starting in California Government Code section 8550.

There are three main types of emergencies that enable a governor to declare a state of emergency.

  1. State of War emergency.
  2. State of Emergency
  3. Local Emergency

I think we all agree that we do not currently have a state of war emergency since neither California or the United State are not under an attack or threat of attack by an enemy of the United States.

As such, that leads us to state of emergency or local emergency. A local emergency deals with disasters that are contained within the limits of a county. Since the Corona virus effects the entire state of California, we are currently dealing with the second option, a State of Emergency.

Under California Government code section 8558, a governor can call a state of emergency when there is an “existence of conditions of disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the state caused by conditions such as air pollution, fire, flood, storm, epidemic, riot, drought, cyberterrorism, sudden and severe energy shortage, plant or animal infestation or disease, …earthquake, or other conditions, other than conditions resulting from a labor controversy or conditions causing a state of war emergency ….”

California Government Code section 8567 states that all orders under the California Emergency Services Act must be in writing and they take effect immediately. When the governor calls a state of emergency, he may suspend any state statute, rule or regulation. (Cal. Gov. § 8571). Please notice that the governor does not have the authority to suspend the California Constitution. As such, any rights contained in the Constitution are still in force. In fact, to make sure the government understands that there are limits to their authority, Cal. Gov. § 8571.5 expressly states that nothing in the California Emergency Services Act gives the government the right to seize or confiscate any firearm or ammunition unless an officer is arresting someone pursuant to an investigation for the commission of a crime.

When a governor calls a state of emergency, this gives him the authority to commandeer or utilize any private property or personnel deemed by him necessary in carrying out the responsibilities. However, the state is liable for the reasonable value of what it uses. (Gov. Code § 8572).

Gov. Newsom’s Executive Orders

Now that we have discussed the law, let’s now talk about what the Governor of California has actually done.

On March 4, 2020, Governor Newsom Declared a State of Emergency.

On March 11, 2020, Governor Newsom’s office published the fact that it was California Department of Public Health’s policy of preventing gatherings of groups larger than 250 people “should be postponed.” This was not an executive order by the governor, instead it was a California Department of Public Health policy. This policy does not cite a single law that gives the California Department of Public Health authority to shut down events of 250 people or require social distancing of more than 6 feet. While these may be good guidelines to follow, they are simply policies, they are not the law.

To emphasize that this was just a policy and not a law, on March 12, 2020, Newsom issues his next executive order (N-25-20). This executive order states that “All residents are to heed any orders and guidance of state and local public health officials, including but not limited to the imposition of social distancing measures, to control the spread of COVID-19.”

Notice the language of this order. “All residents are to heed any orders and guidance …”. If you look up the word heed in the dictionary, you will discover that it means “to give consideration attention to.” It does not say you must obey. Gavin Newsom in his executive order utilizing his powers granted him after declaring a state of emergency told the citizens of California that Californians should takes the advice given by the California Department of Public Health into consideration when making decisions.

Thus, contrary what you may have been led to believe, Gov. Newsom did not actually issue an executive order requiring Californians to practice social distancing, nor did he actually order gatherings of over 250 people to shut down. All he did was order people to pay attention to what these organizations were saying. These were merely recommendations.

Understand, a policy is different from a regulation. While I was able to find authority that allowed the California Department of Health Services to issue emergency regulations after they jumped through a few hoops, I have been unable to find where their policies would have the full force of law. Laws are passed by the legislature, or under the state of emergency, via executive order by the governor.

Before I move on to what the counties have done with their shelter in place laws, I want to quickly let you know that Gov. Newsom has issued five other executive orders in the last several days regarding the Corona virus.

Newsom has signed an executive order on March 13 ensuring funding for schools even if the schools are closed. He has issued an executive order on March 16th on how the state must focus on protecting the health and safety of the most vulnerable. And on March 16th, his executive order dealt with suspending the laws allowing landlords and banks from removing individuals who have not been able to pay their bills until May 31st. On the 17th he signed an executive order to ensure that key commodities can be delivered to California retailers. Finally, on the 18th he issued an executive order to protect ongoing safety net services for the most vulnerable Californians.

Shelter in Place Laws

So now let’s move to the issue of shelter in place laws being issued by the counties. I have not looked at every county’s shelter in place law, but I have looked at several and they are very similar.

California law allows counties to declare a health emergency when the local health officer determines that there is a threat of the introduction of any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease. (California Health and Safety Code § 101080). It appears that this power was not given to the California Department of Health Services but instead, this power was left in the hands of local Health Officers.

Cal. Health & Safety § 101040 permits local health officers to take any preventive measures that may be necessary to protect and preserve the public health from any state of emergency declared by the governor. After a local health emergency has been declared, “The sheriff of each county .. may enforce within the county … all orders of the local health officer issued for the purpose of preventing the spread of any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease.” (Cal. Health and Safety Code 101029). Cal. Health & Safety § 101030 specifically gives the county health officer the authority to order quarantines.

However, the question arises, does a county health officer have the authority to order a quarantine of healthy people, or just those who are sick? What laws are in place in the state of California regarding the stopping of disease through quarantine?

The statutes are very broad in their wording. Cal. Health & Safety § 120175 says that the health officers “shall take measures as may be necessary to prevent the spread of the disease or occurrence of additional cases. Cal. Health & Safety § 120200 indicates that a health officer shall establish and maintain places of quarantine. But this still does not answer the question, can a health officer issue a quarantine of everyone in the county?

In 1921, Laura Culver petitioned the courts to be released from a quarantine. The Court’s held that the law permitted public health officials to quarantine individuals who have come in contact with cases and carriers of contagious diseases.

As one studies California law, it is clear that the law used to be very explicit that a quarantine was only applicable to those who had a contagious disease or those who had come in contact with someone who had a contagious disease.

While most of the laws regarding quarantine are very broad, Cal. Health & Safety § 120215 appears to have limiting language. This statute reads: Upon receiving information of the existence of contagious, infectious, or communicable disease for which the department may from time to time declare the need for strict isolation or quarantine, each health officer shall: (a) Ensure the adequate isolation of each case, and appropriate quarantine of the contacts and premises. (b) Follow the local rules and regulations, and all general and special rules, regulations, and orders of the department, in carrying out the quarantine or isolation.

Let’s look at this for a minute. I think we can all agree that the health officers have sufficient information that there is a communicable disease. However, where we disagree is that the Health Officers are ordering a county wide shelter in place law where the law only allows “adequate isolation of each case, and appropriate quarantine of the contacts.” This is where the local health official appears to have overstepped their authority. The counties are not looking at this on a case by case bases. Instead, they are issuing broad orders that affect both the healthy and the sick. They are not ordering a quarantine of those who have been in contact with someone who has the virus.

Cal. Health & Safety § 120225 also has some instructive language. This statute says that “A person subject to quarantine …”. The quarantine laws where designed to quarantine an individual or a location, not an entire community or organization.

Finally, Cal. Health & Safety § 120235 makes clear that the quarantine powers of the local health officer were never intended to be a community lock down. Cal. Health & Safety § 120235 clearly states that “no quarantine shall be raised until every exposed room, together with all personal property in the room, has been adequately treated, or, if necessary, destroyed, under the direction of the health officer, and until all persons having been under strict isolation are considered noninfectious.”

The quarantine laws are clearly intended to be applied to individuals not to the entire county. The quarantine laws are designed to stop those who might have been infected from passing the disease onto others. Absent the local health officers finding that an individual has the disease or is likely to have the disease, California law does not give them broad authority to quarantine the entire county.

As such, it appears counties such as San Francisco that have issued broad shelter in place laws may be violating California law.

If you feel like the state of emergency called by the governor or these shelter in place laws have adversely effected your business and/or violated your constitutional rights, I would encourage you to seek competent legal counsel to examine your individual case.

In conclusion, we are living in very interesting times. There are those who feel like government officials are in a contest to see who can be the most aggressive in upending the lives of its citizens over the Corona virus. The great debate of today seems to be, is the government doing too much or is the government not doing enough. Regardless of the answer to that question, there are going to be some serious financial ramifications as a result of this virus.

Regardless of whether the government has over reacted or under reacted, the threat of this virus will end. When it does, our generation will have the opportunity to show how we are able to bounce back, just like we did after the Great Depression or 9/11.

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68 thoughts on “Does Gov. Newsom Have the Power to Shut Down Private Businesses Because of Coronavirus?

  1. Thanks for this information. Word on the street is that in under an hour, that is at 5:30 p.m., L.A. City and L.A. County officials will gather to announce broad “shelter in place” orders that are identical to the ones issued in the SF Bay Area. Reference has been made to Gov Newsom’s questionable assertion that 25 MILLION people (what?!) will likely be infected in the State of California as the reason behind the “shelter in place” orders in SoCal. Aaaahhh!

    1. Sheep
      MOST people are sheep. They don’t think for themselves and just live off the pablum spewed out by the govt. They are more than willing to surrender their God given rights, individuality and respect in lieu of the ‘we will take care of you’ rhetoric of the governor.

    1. Your Rights are given to You by a loving CREATOR and through our FEDERAL CONSTITUTION not by Governor Newscum. REMEMBER THAT! Newscum has made himself the law now above all else.

    1. And yet the entire thing says that much of this is a guess. The simple truth is many of these orders by the Governors are ILLEGAL. They do no lt have the legal right to restrain non-infected people. They do not have the right to close businesses based on this lack of PROVEN harm. And yes, I read the entire article, word for word. It does raise a compelling argument, but it’s not legally sufficient to grant these governors the rights they have illegally usurped

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I’m going to share the heck out of this and, if all goes well, his attempts to ruin our state will be stifled.

  3. Some Turners outdoor stores closed by health department for having more then 10 people in stores. Sounds illegal and restriction of trade.

  4. Great information. So what’s next? Fear seems to be in charge rather than facts at this time. Can a legal challenge be made on the drastic costly measures the government is taking?

  5. —“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” Thomas Jefferson

    1st. Government pushes the envelope of its authority and control whenever it can. If people comply, the government gets more authority and control. If the people resist, and even if the current attempted expansion is thwarted, the government has lost nothing and it and try again in the future.

    2nd. Real or perceived crises and emergencies are fertile grounds for expanding government. The people tend to resist less.

    3rd. Aside from the legalities, there is a psychological effect of teaching people, particularly young people with freshly indoctrinated skulls of mush, to submit to government and see government as their savior.

    For example, the government used the threat of terrorism set up the TSA and later to install the full body scanners. To my knowledge, TSA has never detected a would be terrorist or hijacker, and in tests, TSA screeners miss 90%+ of the practice bombs and weapons. But the TSA has taught Americans to submit to government. If some government employee wants to feel up your 10 year old child or make your 90 year old grandmother take off her adult diaper, you stand there and allow it.

    As Obama’s first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said:

    —“Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

    1. According to my sources ,Rob Emmanuel stated that we should not never let a ”serious” crises go to waste. Emmanuel, at least not according to what I have read, did not say that ”we should never let a ”good” crises go to waste.
      Indeed every serious crises, as any thinking person should be able to conclude, should at the very least, be seen as a opportunity to learn and depending upon the exact nature of the crises being dealt with, make needed policy, or behavioral changes. These changes might be made in order to resolve a particular crises, prevent the crises at hand from becoming worse, or being repeated.
      Republicans have a long history of making sure that crises are exploited in such a way as to make sure that they benefit, so let’s not pretend as if the Democrats are the only opportunists within this country. To be certain, Republicans have been known to create and or just outright lie about even non existing crises in order to benefit from said crises. The invasion of Iraq comes to mind as does the Nixon administration’s drug war, which we now know was based upon that administration’s lies and its desire to persecute the anti war Left ,and black people.

    2. Our government, much like the English monarchy in 1776,and practically every other corrupt, tyrannical government in human history has been corrupted by private financial elites and or corporations. The English monarchy had been corrupted by the wealthy international trading companies of that era which sought to squeeze out their competition so to speak. The Russian-American trading corporation was, in case you forgot, joint owner with the crown, of the tea that was dumped into the Boston harbor. The American Revolution, like the French Revolution it inspired, was as much a war against private greed and ambition as it was against tyrannical government.
      It so happens to be the case that these draconian, tyrannical shelter in place orders, are being touted as a way to save the stock market, thus our so called ”public servants,” are giving ear to their donors ,and in some cases issuing these orders so that those private wall street donors will be pleased. Of course American Conservatives and Right wingers will be sure to only focus on one aspect of what is going on here, in hope that the American public will arrive at the conclusion that government per se is the problem, and not a government that only serves private wealth. The result will be,if we are not careful, that in the future, powerful private interests will have the luxury of having their way with the common people, without even spending the money, or making any effort to corrupt what should be a government by and for the people. Private armies and police, will suffice to enforce the will of tyrannical private elites.

      1. “When a governor calls a state of emergency, this gives him the authority to commandeer or utilize any private property or personnel deemed by him necessary in carrying out the responsibilities. However, the state is liable for the reasonable value of what it uses. (Gov. Code § 8572)”

        So, in essence the government is using the shutdown, closing of businesses, to slow the virus. They are in fact commandeering the private businesses, and using them passively.

        Are they now liable to all the business owners they have forced to shutter for losses and damages?

        1. Good luck trying to collect from the Gov —they will drag case through the court system for 10 years and the lawyers will get Bank and you will get squat—if U win

        2. That is exactly what my question is -I’m a small business owner in California and I think we should start a class action lawsuit against the state of California for losses in our business that we cannot recover from!

        3. Doesn’t that go against the 3rd Amendment? Granted it not quartering troops, but it’s still the government taking control of your property for their own purposes.

    3. Frightened people are easier to control. The data for this virus seems so far fetched and before you bring up Italy, they are far smaller than the US, they also have a very old population and limited medical services compared to the US. I am still going to work every day because I am a home health nurse and our local hospitals are dumping patients out the door faster than we can pick them up to make room for virus pt’s that seem to never appear. There are plenty of seasonal flu patients out there don’t get me wrong and CHF pts, COPD pts, diabetic pts and you get the point. People are being scared by misinformation and panic buying and losing their jobs and businesses over this.

      1. I will be seeking legal advice from an attorney I am 80 years old I am diabetic and feel I have been trampled on I have a lot anxiety I can’t get it out hardly I feel Governor Newsom has overstepped his boundaries I don’t feel good

  6. Though the intent is certainly laudable, the means that Gov. Newsome has used are blatantly unlawful and should be challenged.

    Furthermore, efforts to restrict sales of firearms and ammunition belie the ostensible need to prevent the spread of a highly contagious disease whose extent in the population is quite unknown. There is no evidence of civil unrest nor attack upon any Californians by a criminal organization or a foreign power, therefore, the State has no demonstrable imperative to deny its citizens their Second Amendment rights.

  7. Very good info. Thank you
    My thought though
    But we don’t know who’s been exposed , that’s the problem with this. We can’t take it case by case cause there’s no way in knowing who was exposed, therefore passing it to someone who’s vulnerable.
    I’m a small business owner, my only source of income. I’m being impacted significantly!!
    I’d be very interested in having counsel to see if I had a case. Just today I lost 3,500 cause of the “shelter in place” order yesterday

    “Cal. Health & Safety § 120225 also has some instructive language. This statute says that “A person subject to quarantine …”. The quarantine laws where designed to quarantine an individual or a location, not an entire community or organization.

    Finally, Cal. Health & Safety § 120235 makes clear that the quarantine powers of the local health officer were never intended to be a community lock down. Cal. Health & Safety § 120235 clearly states that “no quarantine shall be raised until every exposed room, together with all personal property in the room, has been adequately treated, or, if necessary, destroyed, under the direction of the health officer, and until all persons having been under strict isolation are considered noninfectious.”

    The quarantine laws are clearly intended to be applied to individuals not to the entire county. The quarantine laws are designed to stop those who might have been infected from passing the disease onto others. Absent the local health officers finding that an individual has the disease or is likely to have the disease, California law does not give them broad authority to quarantine the entire county.“

  8. Attorney Mark Meuser’s analysis and conclusions are very interesting. He refers to California law only, however, in arguing the unlawfulness of Newsom’s executive orders and the public health officer orders. I would submit that there is a much more basic violation here, of the United States Constitution. Its First Amendment guarantees, among other things, freedom of peaceable assembly to all. There is no exemption from that guarantee for war, epidemic, natural disaster, or anything else. The freedom of assembly guarantee is also contained in about 30 other declarations, conventions, and national constitutions around the world, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. So, this universal human right is violated by a public health order which prohibits or even restricts the peaceable assembly of human beings wherever and whenever they desire and in whatever number they desire and for whatever (peaceable) reason(s). I would also argue that prohibiting them from traveling to the place of their assembly, and prohibiting places of assembly, such as bars, event centers, stadiums, and even street festivals, from opening for business, has the same effect, that is, violating the guarantee of freedom of peaceable assembly. No doubt there are those who will say that the current pandemic warrants the temporary revocation of this human right. I don’t buy that. Patrick Henry said it very well: “Give me liberty or give me death”.

    1. He did not mean “other people’s deaths.” You have the option to be a considerate person. To choose to take a course that will limit the spread of the virus. And all it occurs to you to say is “you can’t make me”?? Congratulations, you’re a patriot. And your adolescent attitude, which has been adopted by many others, is going to make it much worse for small communities with limited supplies and healthcare, such as the one I live in. Well done. Happy now?

      1. In the hope that you’re a reasonable person (admittiedly difficult, when you’ve just argued ad hominem) I would like to point out that your argument begins by assuming every person is a carrier, and every contact results in death — scientifically incorrect in *both* cases. Reasonable disagreement is possible here without your threatening vitriol. I hope you’ll reconsider.

  9. Everything he has said is of course true. That said, having a freedom doesn’t mean you are compelled to exercise it. I have freedom of speech, but does that mean I *have* to spew my guts at every opportunity? I have the option to be prudent. Same here. People exercising their right to go wherever they damplease is putting tiny California communities at serious risk. In small mountain towns, to which it has occurred to everyone to now take a vacation, the single hospital has only 12 beds and is overwhelmed even on the best day. The community has a large proportion of elderly, an at-risk group. Out-of-towners have come & raided the very limited supplies (two supermarkets serving 5000 full-time residents, and that number has doubled now). Why on earth would someone choose to put a lot of people at risk just to prove what a patriot they are? You sound like a bunch of adolescents. You are asked to do something & all you can say is “You can’t make me.” Effing infants. Save your piety for another day. Right now people need help and protection, not a lot of chest-thumping.

    1. This whole thing is a lie. False positives & underlying issues to make money. No one I know or who they know has it at all. The death rate is less than the flu & I will go wherever I want whenever I want. You can stay home.

  10. May I suggest that those folks believing that these shelter in place orders are unconstitutional, remember that our Constitutional freedoms are only viable if they do not harm others. The U. S. Constitution is the supreme law of the United States. Harm will also be determined in the future, just as personal responsibility for the harm done.

  11. I don’t know when will people learn not to vote for Democrats. Any place controlled by Dems is a disaster, period.

  12. In reply to Andy Giornata, I am sorry to hear of the stresses suffered by your small mountain community. I do not condone hoarding while others do without. And I never said “You can’t make me”. Those are words you put into my mouth. I agree with you that having a right does not mean one must exercise it. And, logically, why would I do so when I could die of coronavirus, or someone else could die of it, as a result? I’m not stupid. Oh, and not an effing infant, nor an adolescent, nor a chest-thumper. Yes, I am a patriot and proud of it; and by the way, a veteran who fought a shooting war and voluntarily surrendered his own freedom for the duration of that war just to keep you free. If you are not a patriot, that would be your shame. Thank you for admitting that everything I said in my original post is true. Newsom’s orders and the public health officer orders remain unconstitutional. Compare them with what Donald Trump’s task force has done. Trump has issued “guidelines”, not unlawful and unconstitutional orders. I am just as willing to do whatever I can to fight the virus as you are. The virus will be conquered eventually and will be gone. But the Honorable Gavin Newsom and his ilk will still be here. My fear is that if unconstitutionality is not immediately challenged, it will set a precedent for further lawlessness in a state that is already far down that path in many respects. But you can rest easy, Mr. Giornato. I will not be calling on my fellow Californians to assemble anytime soon. Still, it is my inalienable human right, and none of your name-calling will change that.

    1. Well that was just embarrassing, & I’ll tell you why.

      First, you’re trying to suggest (tacitly of course, via drawing attention to “name calling”) that what you & I are each saying has anything at all to do with how we are, respectively, saying it. The truth of my point, which I’ll get to below, has nothing at all to do with either my vocabulary or comportment, and neither does your formality disguise that your basic premise is off the mark. If you can’t handle the fact that I’m extraordinarily angry & also a hot-head, get out of the kitchen. People express themselves all different ways (isn’t that what you went to war for?), & if you are suggesting that someone’s credibility should be questioned because you don’t like his or her vocabulary, perhaps you should look up “ad hominem” and do that Logic 101 refresher.

      You are feeding the stupid. First, by suggesting that anyone at all ever thought that the “order” was enforceable. Blah blah blah “order.” Blah blah blah “office of emergency services.” Section 8665? A misdemeanor? You obviously don’t live in a small town, where enforcing someone’s renting a motel room when they shouldn’t is tantamount to being arrested for spitting on the sidewalk. No one I know, & I’ve listened to a good cross-section of my community, took it seriously or felt their rights were being trampled. No one thought it was unconstitutional since it was always perceived as being nothing more than bloviating. Most were exasperated because they felt the “order” was a joke & would do nothing at all to protect them. Our roads are closed because of the weather all the time, & when that happens, when driving under those conditions would cause great harm to oneself or others, no one whines about constitutionality except a few claustrophobic maniacs who try to sneak through, & who roll their cars, get stuck & freeze to death, or kill someone.

      I still think you & your ilk are acting like adolescents. Like those 11-year-olds who love having a clean room & would do it voluntarily if it weren’t for the fact that mom asked them to. You seem so terrified that doing the right thing *may* coincide with what you are also being asked to do, that you are doing, & encouraging people to do, the opposite, or as my mother would have said, you are “cutting off your nose to spite your face.” Except that people who have nothing to do with you are going to suffer for it (my right to my own life is apparently not an issue). Here you come, arming the emotionally claustrophobic with constitutional language confirming that, indeed, they “don’t have to”; focusing on that in order to assuage the anxiety & panic of those who treat doing something they are asked to do like being buried alive.

      What we could use right now is an article that suggests that even though the “order” is ridiculous, you can still help your community by STAYING HOME. Instead, all you’ve done is tell a lot of 11-year-olds that it’s better to stay in a filthy room than it is to cave to their desperate fear of cooperation.

      Re how sorry you are about what is happening in my community. I can’t tell you how transparent & disingenous that appears. I think the same thing when I see a sleazy defense attorney who is about to wipe the floor with a victim in order to create reasonable doubt preface it by saying how “sorry” he is for that person’s loss. Hoping that the jury will think him somehow more, what. Sensitive? Truthful? Genuine? (see “truth vs. presentation” above). But it’s just part of the performance. Save it.

      You & your buddies have painted yourselves into a corner. You are unable to acquiesce, even voluntarily, because you’ve framed it as coercion even though it isn’t. You are depriving yourself of your own right to make a decision regardless of what everyone else is saying or how you think it makes you look. That is just ego talking, big fat ego. If you think that your freedom & rights are so fragile that changing your behavior to respond to what was never more than a “request” risks all of it being taken from you, then you must not have much respect for it.

      & BTW: Even the right to assembly has limitations; private property, peacefulness, etc. Only the emotionally claustrophobic would assemble to demonstrate their right to pass coronavirus among themselves, and it could be argued that intentionally passing the virus to those who don’t have the expectation of acquiring it isn’t exactly non-violent.

      1. Re: Andy Giornata
        Okay, people from the cities stay out of Andy’s nice little town. But, if you ever need serious or life saving medical care, that is most always located in the big cities, you should practice what you preach and stay in your little town. Practice what you preach.

      2. Andy Giornata: Your post was too long. I quit reading it after the first sentence, and I suspect most people will skip over it like I did.

      3. Andy; It is now more than a month since the time of your posting; we have reached the stage where we in the city are being ordered to quarantine and wear masks all day in public or receive a $1,000 fine imposed on including those who have just lost their jobs, their homes, and have no food on the table. Attorney Mark Meuser is helping to educate us about our rights as U.S. citizens, and you harp on those who understand their is a pandemic and who care about the health of themselves, their families and others. No one is saying to ignore the virus altogether! We need to be aware that there is a pandemic and we need to be very vigilant and careful, but at the same time, we cannot afford to be so naive and assume that those in authority have our best interest in mind; this is the most opportune time for an evil empire to take over if we let our guard down; if you don’t think that they could use a pandemic such as this to accomplish their goals, then you need to listen up; they want so much to take our priceless freedom that our founding fathers fought and died for, taken away from us, and it won’t be easy getting it back.

  13. On the other hand, does The Public get to take legal action against those who put the public at risk by NOT abiding by important public health policy? If someone gets ill and dies and it can be tied to your business, are you responsible? Maybe think about that.

  14. How sad we have come to this over the many generations of time. Our founding fathers of this great nation birthed it by shouts of “give us liberty, or death” of which we now shout “give us life and no risks at all costs!” How sad and what a high price we will pay and trade, just to temper our fears.

  15. Brilliant. Thank you, Katy. Great work, Mark.

    I think that the above, being true, cannot defeat the herd-mentality. If a bar reopens, for instance, how many will complain? And will the police know what to do according to law or will they do what they’ve been doing by ignoring real laws and acting on popular sentiments (which are not law, but could eventually become law at some point)?

    One thing Mark didn’t address is the fact that the U.S. has been in a constant state of emergency under presidential executive order, which contains the provision of martial law, if I’m not mistaken, which is why police have not been mirandizing detainees, and have been abridging rights of suspects, detainees and persons of interest increasingly for many years. Judges have allowed these things to happen, and the DA’s encourage it. I understand that budget concerns drive the corporate city police – the “hired guns” that they are, must justify their existence – and convictions is how their budgets are maintained. There simply isn’t enough real overt crime occurring, so extra crime must be construed somehow. Federal martial law seems to be their ticket to ride.

    There must be something that you should correct me on, or done other element I’m missing. In no attorney, but I’ve been chewed, swallowed, dragged through the belly of the beast known as the “justice” system, and released of its ugly bowels twice for not having committed any crimes – I simply had a record, more misconstrues in fact, but paid the price anyway. I was recycled. Once they put a jacket on a person, it stays. I had trusted and respected police before, but I’m also wiser.
    I still respect the police and am thankful, but trust is another issue. My trust is tempered.

  16. Time to file a lawsuit
    Whose with me? Two Dr. just went on Facebook and said the numbers don’t add up for shut down and the data is wrong.

  17. Mam…you are off your rocker entirely. NO one has the authority to suspend our Constitutionally protected rights. No ONE or GOVERNMENT!!! Read Article VI of the US Constitution. Section 2: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

    3: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. The president does not have the authority to shut us down and neither does anyone else PERIOD! They cna a SHOULD make facts be known and ASK or ADVISE us to stay away form others or indoors but they have NO authority to FORCE US to under any circumstances. California law or Constitution be damned! newsome is a tyrant and has betratyed his people, the constitution and his country and has in fact aided and abetted our enemies in oding so. He should be IMMEDIAT%ELYU arrested, clapped in irons and if found guilty should face the death penalty.

  18. Sorry…post had errors…corrected: Mam…you are off your rocker entirely. NO one has the authority to suspend our Constitutionally protected rights. No ONE or GOVERNMENT!!! Read Article VI of the US Constitution. Section 2: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

    Now please feel free to point which part of the US Constitution permits suspension of ANY rights without due process. Hint…it’s not there.

    The president does not have the authority to shut us down and neither does anyone else PERIOD! They can and SHOULD make facts be known and ASK or ADVISE us to stay away from others or indoors but they have NO authority to FORCE US to under any circumstances. California law or Constitution be damned! newsome is a tyrant and has betrayed his people, the constitution and his country and has in fact aided and abetted our enemies in doing so. He should be IMMEDIATELY arrested, clapped in irons and if found guilty should face the proper penalty.

  19. Mark
    California desperately needs a class action suit barring mail in ballots. As you know Judicial Watch did sue and won a case against LA county for voter fraud of mail in ballots. Since fraud has been proven we’d like to see poll voting with voter ID to eliminate the ease to cheat and commit fraud. Limited absentee votes upon request. Right now everyone is mailed a ballot sometimes two or three and ballots mailed to the dead and illegals.
    If you are going after Newsom for voting fraud and stop mail in voting and require IDs I’d like to know and I’d like to donate.
    Please make donations by PO Box, Venmo or PayPal in addition to credit cards

  20. So I’m over here in Texas and the judge over here wanted to fine people $1000. Or jail time for not wearing a mask starting today the 27th of April. Well then the Govenor got on the news and his word supersedes to overwrite anything she put into place.. There were people upset even the Chief of the police department. To make a long story short we are recommended to wear them but it is not mandated. California people need to start speaking up they will take every last right if you let them.

  21. Due to the sheer number of cases, it’s illogical at best to assume you have NOT come in direct contact with this. As such, the final conclusion is questionable at best. Everyone is affected, stay at home orders are completely warranted, and anyone who fights them is a plague rat who is part of the problem, and a direct threat to the safety of everyone around them.

    1. So guilty until proven innocent then huh SheepyJoe? I’m not willing to sacrifice you’re potential for prosperity for my security. Go move to commie china and bow down to the regime a$$ clown sheep.

  22. I would like to file a lawsuit. I cannot go to church, I have lost work, my business has suffered, my daughter cannot go to classes, My movement is restricted!!!! I cannot buy things like clothing or other essential items, everyone is being forced into debt and bankruptcy, parks and beaches are closed, forced mask wearing!!! The food supply is breaking down!!! We were kicked off the capital steps! We can’t attend council meetings. This is insanity and violating almost every right i have.

  23. From what Mark Meuser has said, and the statutes he quotes, and what the California Constitution says, it appears that it is the COUNTY OFFICIALS who have overstepped their authority. I would think they would be personally liable for lawsuits under 42 USC 1983 dealing with deprivation of Rights under color of law.

  24. My problem with the analysis offered by Mr. Meuser is he went off in the wrong direction of California law.

    In California law, the County Health Departments, even in an emergency, are subordinate to the County Supervisors. It is the County Supervisors who, in an emergency, are supposed to ” heed” the advice of their health officers and from that advice the county supervisors are to issue orders.

    Mr. Meuser went from the Governor’s declaration direct to the health officers. He should have gone from the
    governor’s declaration to the county supervisors and then to the role of county health officers. That’s is the command structure California law requires in an emergency.

    The reason that’s important is because the people elected and gave powers to the supervisors. The people did not give any power to the county health officers. The people (Calif Constitution) does not allow Newsom the authority to transfer the power exclusively vested in the supervisors by the people of the county. That is to say, Newsom cannot take the power of the supervisors out of the hands of the supervisors and give it to an unelected health officer. If that were allowed to happen, Newsom would, in effect, be creating an county emperor responsible to no one.

    I suspect Newsom knows all this which is why he uses the word “heed” rather than “obey” in his declaration of emergencies.
    officer.

  25. That was a very negligent reading of the emergency powers available to the governor. What was failed to be mentioned was the requirement that the city/county system(s) be unable to, or reasonably projected to be unable to, handle the current situation that is being faced. Granted that in the beginning weeks it was not known how far or fast the virus would spread, or how badly effected the people would become. However, after the first two or three weeks of the declaration of emergency it was quite evident that the state was not in danger of being overwhelmed. Even the heavily hit Los Angeles area was able to handle all of the cases. No city or county in the state was unable to deal with their particular situations. By statute the declaration of emergency ends when conditions no longer merit such.
    The purpose of the declaration is not to prevent sickness or even death. It is only to maintain the ability to handle those cases. Nothing more. Every year we are faced with 50-100 thousand deaths from the ‘regular’ flu, and hundreds of thousands that are made sick from it. Using the same justifications we could be in a perpetual lockdown forever, as there is no way to prevent it, only manage and lessen the symptoms.
    So in short, yes Newsom had the authority during the first month to issue various portions of his decree, but all became illegal soon thereafter

  26. That was a very negligent reading of the emergency powers available to the governor. What was failed to be mentioned was the requirement that the city/county system(s) be unable to, or reasonably projected to be unable to, handle the current situation that is being faced. Granted that in the beginning weeks it was not known how far or fast the virus would spread, or how badly effected the people would become. However, after the first two or three weeks of the declaration of emergency it was quite evident that the state was not in danger of being overwhelmed. Even the heavily hit Los Angeles area was able to handle all of the cases. No city or county in the state was unable to deal with their particular situations. By statute the declaration of emergency ends when conditions no longer merit such.
    The purpose of the declaration is not to prevent sickness or even death. It is only to maintain the ability to handle those cases. Nothing more. Every year we are faced with 50-100 thousand deaths from the ‘regular’ flu, and hundreds of thousands that are made sick from it. Using the same justifications we could be in a perpetual lockdown forever, as there is no way to prevent it, only manage and lessen the symptoms.
    So in short, yes Newsom had the authority during the first month to issue various portions of his decree, but all became illegal soon thereafter. Unfortunately nobody in the media seems interested in curbing his usurpation of power.

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