News/Opinion By Ed Wallace / Publisher of / Oct 15, 2020

What happens when a rouge, lame-duck Governor ignores the wishes of his constituents and a majority of Legislative lawmakers? Well, in Utah…. Usually nothing. But, in these uncharted times when our country is reeling from government overreach and the despotic actions of elected officials and entrenched bureaucrats that think they are empowered by “a public health emergency” to suspend the Constitution, and are free to issue diktats at will, and with impunity, freedom loving citizens are bound to rise up at some point and demand an end to unlawful executive orders that tell us what we can or can’t do with our pursuit of happiness, our increase, our livelihood, and our freedom. Thankfully, there are many among us who recognize that we have become slaves to the state when bureaucrats are ordering us around with our daily behavior, even when the health threat is so minimal, and have taken action to restore lawful Constitutional order. 

A Joint Resolution “ENDING DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY” is currently being circulated among Utah lawmakers and is rapidly gaining support. Inspired by a Idaho resolution, the informal working group of lawmakers who crafted or initially supported the Joint Res. includes notable names like Travis M. Seegmiller (HD62), Mark Strong (HD41), Marsha Judkins (HD61), Adam Robertson (HD63), Kim Coleman (HD42), Marc Roberts (HD67),and Dan McKay (SD11)—- all of whom have been recognized by Liberty-minded or Constitution-focused think tanks for their leadership on the front lines of Protecting our Freedom. 

For example, Seegmiller, an attorney, DSU Professor of Law & Leadership, and an expert on the Utah and American Constitutions, and who provided his legal expertise and helped with editing the JR, has launched a collaborative effort called “THE FREEDOM CAMPAIGN: Restoring our Constitution & Reclaiming our Lost Liberty”. Working closely with other Liberty-minded lawmakers and Influencers in the state, initiatives such as Representative Seegmiller’s, and others, are helping to invigorate tens of thousands of Freedom Loving Utahns throughout the state.

Seegmiller stated: “I am very pleased to be part of the “team” of Liberty-minded lawmakers who are ADVOCATING for this Joint Resolution, which would RESTORE the Constitutional powers back into the hands of YOU – WE – THE PEOPLE !!!”

Kim Coleman issues this statement regarding the resolution: “On two separate occasions the governor unilaterally declared extensions of the emergency declaration, giving himself emergency powers. This upsets and contradicts the fundamental underpinnings of our government, which was designed to separate powers to ensure power could not concentrate in a single person or body of persons. It is the primary safeguard for proper representation of the People and against tyranny. In disregarding the law and Legislature’s constitutional duty to legislate, the governor has created a constitutional crisis which demands defense as per my oath of office. I hope we see a quick resolution of both the disease that has inflicted our society and the power abuses that such situations tend to tempt.””

Governor’s Herbert’s actions, including his renewal of the State of Emergency on Sept 19, is in sharp contrast to FL Governor Ron DeSantis who lifted all restrictions yesterday on restaurants and other businesses. “We’re not closing anything going forward,” DeSantis said. DeSantis also banned cities and counties from collecting fines on people who don’t wear face masks, virtually nullifying local mask ordinances. The governor said he would stop “As an act of executive grace, all fines and penalties that have been applied against individuals are suspended.”

One observer said “ Florida will see a spike from this, but they will eventually anyway. They can’t keep dragging out the economy to delay the inevitable. Governor DeSantis didn’t lose his way and forget what the pandemic objective was: flatten the curve. In Utah, our leaders stumbled off the flatten-the-curve path and fell into the impossible no-covid-cases pit. So, while Florida kept its head on straight and followed science, and recognized this disease will permeate the population, with a need to care for those at risk, Utah’s hair goes a-fire when out of context case counts coincidentally and predictably spike around political dates. Utahns are craving responsible and smart leadership.”

So far, we haven’t been getting that. This nonsensical MANDATED DISASTER that our elected officials have created will go down as one of the political world’s biggest, most shamefully overblown, over-hyped, overly and irrationally inflated, immoral and outright deceptively flawed responses to a health matter in American history, one that was carried largely on the lips of medical professionals who presented flawed data and can’t even agree with each other.

The resolution points out that Gov. Herbert first declared a State of Emergency on March 6, 2020. On June 18, the Utah Legislature voted to extend the declaration until August 20. “On that day, Herbert immediately declared another state of emergency for the same disaster and, upon the expiration of this new state of emergency on September 19, 2020, the Governor issued yet another executive order declaring a state of emergency for the same disaster.”

The resolution states: “A state of emergency may not continue for longer than 30 days unless extended by joint resolution of the Legislature,which may also terminate a state of emergency by joint resolution at any time. Thereupon, “the governor shall issue an executive order ending the state of emergency on receipt of the Legislature’s resolution”; and WHEREAS, Utah Code 53-2a-206 does not grant the Governor authority to renew an emergency or issue a new declaration of the same emergency; and the Emergency Management Act … was not designed nor intended to keep the state and it’s people in a perpetual “state of emergency” threatening the careful balance of government and separation of powers established by our constitution.”

The verbage continues: “…once the legislature has decided to end a state of emergency declaration of the executive, by joint resolution, the executive branch has no right, or authority, to declare another state of emergency for the same disaster without the express consent of the legislature. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the members of the Utah House of Representatives and the Utah Senate concurring herein, the state of emergency declaration related to COVID-19, issued by the governor on September 19th, 2020, is declared to be terminated as of the date of passage of this joint resolution; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature informs the Governor that he may not lawfully issue subsequent emergency declarations or orders related to COVID-19.”

So, in terms that even the most uninformed amongst us can understand, Gov. Herbert has violated his oath of office to “support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Utah, and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity.” And, the Legislature, by not safeguarding their Constitutional mandate, have violated that same oath. By signing the JR, the citizens of Utah are about to discover who among their elected officials are willing to honor their oath of office and truly represent their constituents, or those who have taken power for other reasons.

And, with the latest actions yesterday, the Governor and the Health Departments seem even MORE empowered.

A copy of the resolution, including the signers, can be found by clicking here.

This latest action by the Legislative Branch comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed against the Governor, the Utah Department of Health, and DOH Director Rich Saunders, that challenges their authority and accuses them of violating their civil rights. 

The complaint, filed in Utah County by Attorney Morgan Philpot, states: “Plaintiffs’ children are being subjected to mental and emotional abuse at their schools by the Defendants for secretive and undisclosed purposes… Defendants have perpetrated a campaign of false information… through the exercise of powers prohibited to him. The actions of the Defendants constitute a form of governmentally enforced mental, emotional, and social child abuse.”

In an interview with Fox13 News, Philpot said: “The governor can’t make an executive order that changes the law. In states of emergency, it’s even more important that you follow the law, that he be transparent, that he be accountable.”

Your Utah Legislative elected officials deserve to hear your thoughts on this resolution.

Click here for a list of Representatives and Senators.

If you don’t know who they are, click here.

Hamilton: “The experience of past ages may inform us, that when the circumstances of a people render them distresses their rulers generally recur to severe, cruel, and oppressive measures. Instead of endeavoring to establish their authority in the affection of their subjects, they think they have no security but in their fear. They do not aim at gaining their fidelity and obedience by making them flourishing, prosperous, and happy, but by rendering them abject and dispirited. They think it necessary to intimidate and awe them to make every accession to their own power, and to impair the people’s as much as possible.” —The Farmer Refuted, 1775

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