Constitutional Rights Violated During Covid Crisis – Foundation Of Freedom: How can tyrannical governors be removed? Is wearing a face mask a freedom-of-religion issue? Is earning a living a God-given right? Tune in hear the answers to these questions and more!
Air Date: 05/14/2018
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Faith and the Culture
President Thomas Jefferson said, “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves. And if we think they’re not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”
Welcome to WallBuilders Live, it’s the intersection of faith and the culture and we’re looking at all of the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. Here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders, Tim Barton is a national speaker, pastor and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. You can check us out at wallbuilderslive.com to learn more. That’s also where you can make that contribution. We need you to come alongside us, lock shields with us. It takes finances to get the truth out there. So, we’re encouraging, inspiring and equipping citizens to save our constitutional republic. We need you to be a part of that and come alongside us. Check it out at wallbuilderslive.com.
Alright, David, Tim, time to dive into those questions. First one’s going to come from Daniel and he asked about tyrannical governors and Article 4 Section 4. He said, “Would the United States government be able to remove a tyrannical governor from office due to Article 4 Section 4 of the Constitution?”
Alright, guys, so we’ve definitely seen some tyrannical governors running around the country. What do we think about removing them under Article 4, Section 4?
Well, my first question would be, I wonder which incompetent governor he’s talking about. I’ve been in some programs recently contrasting some governors and there’s been some have done really, really well and there’s some who have just taken this as an opportunity to extend all sorts of unbelievable, I would like to say abuses of power because I think that’s what some of them have been, other suggesting competency. So, my question will be which governor are we talking about? Because…
There’s plenty we could pick from, right?
Exactly. Exactly. Now, Article 4, Section 4 is the clause of the Constitution that maintains that each state shall have a republican form of government. And so, I think the question is related to that. And a republican form of government means one, where the people elect the governor. So, in the sense of the people being able to elect the governor, if you’re like to an incompetent governor, you’ve still done what Article 4 sets up, you had a republican form of government.
And if we’re going to remove a tyrannical governor, it’s not going to be under the Constitution. It’s going to be under the State constitution, not the Federal Constitution. So, the State constitution sets up impeachment procedures for governors or for other officials in the State and it would have to be the people of that State.
I was recently on a call with some legislators from a Midwest state and they were wanting to impeach their governor for all the incompetence. Well, alright, you can try to do that, but you got to make sure that people are behind you for sure.
When this is something to that, it relates that to the Tenth Amendment, because the Tenth Amendment says that whatever power is not specifically given to the Constitution, it belongs to the people or to those specific States. And certainly, the Constitution doesn’t necessarily give you the power to remove a sitting governor for making poor decisions, right, for extending lockdowns, for businesses. Now, certainly, that would be reasons you would want to remove the governor, but that’s more than of a State issue, not a constitutional issue.
Although, because they’re abusing constitutional powers, whether it be the First Amendment or the Fourth Amendment, the Second Amendment, you can go down the list where you see the abuses, certainly they’re abusing the Constitution, but it’s up to the individual states to be the ones to respond and those states respond based on the abuses they’ve received. But Dad, you’re right, it hasn’t violated a republican form of government, because presumably, that was a duly elected governor who has been chosen in a republican system where there was elections and you’ve chosen this leader to represent the people.
So certainly, it would be something that we see a lot of governors doing unconstitutional things. But it’s not even about constitutional authority as much as it is the State’s rights position and you are responsible for your State. And so certainly, you could make a lot of effort to try to remove governors as potentially there should be and maybe some lawsuits that we know, several attorneys who have lawsuits in basically every State in the US. And I say basically, because there might be a couple of exceptions. But generally, lawsuits in almost every State to try to restore the constitutional correctness that governors are violating.
And what we see too is the states are very different from themselves. For example, in the state of Illinois, just dealing with the legislator there who founded law from 1972, that none of the other legislators remembered because they weren’t the legislator in 72 and they hadn’t seen it. But it says you cannot go more than 30 days in this State under declared emergency without reconvening the legislature to come back and give you authorization to continue it. Well, here we are in 10 weeks, not 4 weeks. This is 10 weeks and they haven’t reconvened the legislature. And he brought that law and people said, I don’t even remember that and took it to court and won the case in court because that’s what the law says.
Now, he’s also a first term rather legislator. And the governor said, he’s just politically posturing because he knows that’s ridiculous and he’s just questioning my authority and blah, blah, blah. And so, you do have governors that are much more in a tyrannical dictator kind of position and they’re enjoying that power, where they are delegating it, maybe to some doctor who’s their health advisor, whatever else. And it certainly is not from a duly elected position or following the rules of law, which is why there are so many lawsuits in the States.
Well, that’s the same governor too, they have not in Illinois had a balanced budget since 2001. And so, he’s complaining that, because of Trump and Corona, they would have had a budget surplus this year if it hadn’t been for this. Oh, you’re kidding? You, guys have a balanced budget in 20 years and you’re now blaming that on Trump and Coronavirus. And he’s the one by the way, he said, well, cannabis shops, that’s essential services, but churches are not. Really?
Wisconsin and Colorado
So that’s the kind of governance that we see. And I can understand a lot of reasons why a lot of people would be really upset with their governors, Tim said, there are lawsuits proceeding and a lot of these. In Wisconsin, for example, is 60 days there before the legislature has to reconvene, is 45 days in places like Colorado. And I think the governor of Wisconsin, the way he got around, it was said, okay, I can’t do anything else after 60 days.
So, I’m essentially putting the state health official in charge of the State, he’s going to do it. No, that’s a problem too. And by the way, he’s not even elected, so now you are violating a republican form of government. But yeah, it’s a great question. But the Constitution does not give the authority to throw out elected officials just because they’re incompetent, it takes the State constitution to do that.
When you mentioned the deficits, you know, not only Illinois having that huge deficit, New York now massive billions of dollars in deficit; California, I think it’s 55 billion and they’re all going to try to blame the virus. But it was actually their decision to shut down their state economies, they created this massive deficit, not even the virus itself and federal government didn’t make them shut down their States. But man, they’re all going to be screaming for that federal bailout.
And this idea of, I love that. Was that in Illinois that you said the legislator found that statute that says they got to come back and get the legislature evolve in 30 days?
That was in Illinois, sure it was. It’s in Illinois.
I bet we see a lot of states in their next legislative session adopt something like that, you know, a clearer disaster statute that says, hey, after, you know, 10 days, you got to come to the legislature and we get to have a voice in this thing. I’d love to see that happen in States across the country next January.
Well, it’s already being worked on now. There are legislators working on that, we’ve been talking with them. In many States, they’re going to work on trying to do it where the legislature can call itself into session, because you can understand why governor might not want a legislature to come back into session and take power away from him. So, like in the State of Texas, I mean, look what we’ve got here. We only have a legislative session every other year. We don’t have a legislative session with all this stuff going on. How do you call them in session and the Texas Legislature can’t call itself into session?
So you’re going to see a lot of laws come out of this where people are saying, you know, this is something we hadn’t considered before, we’re going to have to create a scenario to keep the people in charge of this and that’s what I’m loving out of all this. All the laws we’re seeing are to put the people more back in charge of government and to make sure that they can hold their elected officials more accountable. And I think that’s a really healthy direction constitutionally forced to move.
Got to love that restoration of freedom. Quick break, guys, when we come back, it’s another COVID crackdown question. This one has to do with the constitutionality of mandatory face covering. Stay with us, folks you’re listening to WallBuilders Live, it’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday.
Abraham Lincoln said, “We, the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts; not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
Hey, friends, it is not too late to join us for the crash course in history and government for all those folks that are schooling from home. Now, that could mean a lot of things. Schooling from home could mean that you’ve been homeschooling your kids from the beginning or it could mean you’ve been thrust into homeschooling as a result of the COVID crackdowns or it could mean you don’t even have kids at home, but you’re still schooling because we all are still learning every day, right? So really, this program is available for anyone and it’s not too late to join us. Even though we started on May 4, we’re doing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon throughout May and you can join at any time and when you join, you will be able to get the recordings of any of the afternoons that you missed.
History in Homeschool
Remember, this is a live opportunity to learn about history and government to bring those things to life. And we’re going to have special guests every afternoon, people that have been in our “Chasing American Legends” program, people from, I mean, Dr. Alveda King, David Barton, Tim Barton, Brad Stein, all kinds of great folks are going to be joining us, you need to be there as well. Go to patriotacademy.com to sign up today. Patriotacademy.com, it’s not too late and you’ll get recordings of any live afternoons that you missed. Get the crash course in history and government at patriotacademy.com.
Power is Inherent in the People
Thomas Jefferson said, “The Constitution of most of our States and of the United States assert that all power is inherent in the people that they may exercise it by themselves. That is their right and duty to be at all times armed, that they are entitled to freedom of person; freedom of religion; freedom of property and freedom of press.”
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live, it’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday, we’re taking your questions. You can send those into [email protected], that’s [email protected] And this one comes from Jodi. The question is about the constitutionality of mandatory face coverings. “In many places around the world, Authorities are mandating that people wear face coverings that cover their nose and mouth in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here in the US, would that be a violation of a constitutional right?”
And I think this question might get sent in before a lot of the state and local entities started actually requiring. So, it’s actually being done in places across the US now. And so, the rest of the question from the listener is, “Would it violate freedom of religion as delineated in the First Amendment? I’ve heard you mentioned your podcast as far back as the Pilgrims, freedom of conscience was actually the most fundamental right.
So, from what I understand, even though freedom of conscience is not specifically named in the First Amendment, the intent is to include freedom of religion. If I want freedom not to wear a face covering even though wearing one has been mandated by government authorities, does the freedom of religion as delineated in the First Amendment give me the freedom not to wear one? Thanks for all you do to keep us well informed.”
Okay, guys, I hadn’t thought about the mask thing as a religion clause issue. But definitely a freedom issue and whether or not government can mandate this, what do you guys think?
The First Amendment
Well, yeah, first of all, I would say it is a good take to remember that the First Amendment was about protecting the rights of religious conscience. The reason that we’re going to give the freedom of religion and that Congress cannot establish a religion, right? So free exercise and the establishment clause, it was intended to make sure that you can’t force people to behave a certain way with their religious convictions. Now, that’s number one.
Rights of conscience certainly applies to the First Amendment. The second thing though, is I would ask, which religion dictates that you can’t cover your mouth with cloth? Because the Right of conscience or right, the religious conscience that we’re referring to the First Amendment that it protects, is things that this is part of your act of worship to God or part of what you believe God has called you to live a certain standard in life.
So, if you could show in your sacred religious texts or writings, right, depending on what religion you are a part of that is violated your religious faith, well, then you could contend that this is a violation of the First Amendment when it comes to the religious clause. But I’m not familiar with any religion that says you’re not allowed to put a cloth covering over your mouth, over your face, etc. And so, I don’t necessarily see that as a violation of religion.
And on top of the fact that, part of the question was addressed that, if I don’t want to have to wear this, right, if I want the freedom to not do this and so the want becomes very important. I think, sometimes we confuse our wants with our conscience. And conscience is something that you believe you owe directly to God. Now, that doesn’t mean that this might not be a violation of some personal freedom, but it’s not a violation of religion, unless, again, you have something that you can point to, specific religious doctrines, somewhere, right?
I mean, for me, I looked at the Bible as a guidance. And there’s nowhere in the Bible that I could point to and say up right here, you know, this was part of Deuteronomy where it said… No, there’s no word that I can think of in the Bible that talks about if you put a mask over your mouth, you are violating God’s standards. And so certainly, it doesn’t seem like it falls in the rights of religious conscience.
A Different Discussion
Now, whether or not it’s violating some of our freedom and liberty, that’s a different discussion. And actually, that might be worth having because that might help bring some clarity. But guys, for me, I would say at least I don’t see this as a violation of religious conscience.
Yeah. And I got to emphasize what Tim said, Because Tim, you’re right on exactly with that and that his conscience is because you’re accountable to God for it. So, you can have disagreements over that. You can have the Quakers who will stand before God and said, God told us very clearly in His Word, Thou shalt not kill.” We will not take up arms for any reason, any purpose, whatever.
And you’re going to have Baptists and Presbyterians that said, well, we won’t murder anyone, but we will kill in self-defense. That’s two different positions on conscience, but both of them believe they owe an allegiance to God for clearly following what they read the scriptures as. And it takes that to create conscience. It’s your accountability to God that is the deciding factor. Your conscience, your accountability to God, you will answer to God if you don’t do that.
Man, there’s just nothing I know like Tim, in any book that says you have to wear a face mask as part of your religious practice. So as much as you may dislike it, remember the conscience is a driving motivation that God tells me I have to do this and if I don’t obey God on this, I’m going to be in trouble with him. That’s what constitutes conscience.
Face Masks and Religion
Yeah, I think religion clause, definitely not the place to challenge the mask ordinances on, but there will be some challenges to them and it should be. And they were back in 1918, even in the few cities like Tucson in San Francisco that required masks, there were challenges to that. And of course, later, the scientists said the mask didn’t help at all with the Spanish flu, is a total waste. But there were challenges to that. And there were some cases won, and some cases lost. And so, all that’s probably going to be brought up again.
And I think the people that challenge at this time are going to be saying, wait a minute, you know, how can you say it’s a compelling interest whenever the very people saying we need the masks six weeks ago, we’re saying the mask won’t help? And so, you know, how do you really have a compelling interest here when everybody disagrees in the first place?
But this is going to be a tough one, because it’s even kind of, you can see the 50/50 split out there, even in the country, right? I mean, the people that aren’t wearing masks are looking at the people that are wearing masks like you’re crazy and the people that are wearing masks are looking at the people that aren’t wearing mask and saying you’re cruel and you’re going to get somebody sick. And so it’s kind of, man, it’s creating this deep seated controversy against each other. So, it’s going to be to see how this plays out in terms of what can be required.
And especially because people are getting different information, therefore, they’re forming different conclusions about how effective the masks will or won’t be. And you know, guys, even in the midst of this, it’s one thing for the government to say, hey, if you are on a government facility, if you are in a public park that is government-funded, whatever, then this is a requirement. It’s one thing to say on government property, right for State Park, whatever else, which still we would disagree with on some level, potentially.
A New Standard for Businesses
But it’s totally different when they’re going to say for the business that you own and operate, here is the standard we now require from you. Because when you remove the choice and the freedom of the individual right, this is where now you have a different level of infringement. And we would even acknowledge that for some businesses, they’ve said, hey, we’re opening up, but we require you to wear a mask. So, go into Walmart, you don’t have to wear a mask. Go into Costco, you have to wear a mask.
And businesses have the freedom to determine what they’re going to do and what their practice is going to be. But again, that’s different than when the government is dictating to businesses how they have to operate in some of these scenarios. When Rick, as you pointed out, there’s even a lot of conflicting reports about how effective masks are or are not.
Isn’t that interesting too? We’ve had the same conversation about property rights and the Second Amendment, right? That those companies that are private and it’s that restaurant or business if they don’t want to allow you to carry a weapon in there, we respect their property rights, but we respect the right not to go in, right? And so, if you feel that way on the mask, hey, that’s their property. If they want to require you to wear it to come in, they have that right to do that. And then you can decide whether to shop there or go somewhere that doesn’t. So it’s similar in that regard as well.
Hey, guys, quick break, we’ve got more questions to get to. We’ll be right back. You’re listening to Foundations of Freedom Thursday on WallBuilders Live.
The Greatest Political Privilege
President Calvin Coolidge said, “The more I studied the Constitution, the more I realized that no other document devised by the hand of man has brought so much progress and happiness to humanity. To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”
Hey friends, this Rick Green from WallBuilders Live and I have had so many requests about, what in the world could we be studying at home right now you know I got the kids at home, they’re normally in school? Or if you homeschool, you’re looking for additional material. One-Room Schoolhouse. It is a great new series WallBuilders is putting out where you literally get a tour of the WallBuilders library as Tim Barton and Jonathan Ritchie bring history to life. There’s a couple of resources on this.
You go to YouTube and search for WallBuilders and look for a One-Room Schoolhouse. You can go to our Facebook page and get it right there on Facebook as we do it live each Monday and sometimes additional days from there. And then you can also just go to wallbuilders.com, scroll down to the bottom and we’ll be posting the videos as they come out. This is such a great way to learn and a great way for you to share with others. Gather the family around, watch the One-Room Schoolhouse and learn some great history. It’ll be vitally important to restoring our nation and bringing back these principles that made America great in the first place. Check it out [email protected]
Thomas Jefferson said, “In questions of power, then let no more be heard of confidence in man that bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. It’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday, we’re taking your questions. Send them into [email protected] And the next question is going to come from, let’s see, this is from Joe. And the question is about the COVID-19 pronouncements and the Fifth Amendment, which is the takings clause there at the end of the Fifth Amendment. Here we go.
And he said, “Hello, gents. I have a question. Fifth Amendment states shall nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation. Given all the state homeowners and how this affects businesses as well as individuals? Is this not a seizure without just compensation for public use?
Taking away everyone’s ability to provide for themselves and their family is the worst possible seizure a government can do, further as it impacts most everyone in the US. Imagine if the several States that have issued set orders, each have a class action lawsuit seems an enterprising lawyer could open class action lawsuits and let everyone interested become a part of that complaint, could be rationalized the business individuals have received excepted compensation from the government with the SBA programs and stimulus checks. That said, not all of us have your thoughts.”
Okay. Great question, Joe and well laid out. And you guys might remember we had David French on when this all first started and he actually said, hey, if this goes on, and on and on, get ready for some Fifth Amendment takings clause, lawsuits and I think those are happening across the country already.
Yeah, they’re going to be moving and I think there’s some really good basis for some of this. And let me just kind of lay out what’s happened with the COVID stuff. If you look at what’s happened here, virtually in some way, you can point to just about every section of the Bill of Rights is a violation. Under the First Amendment, you got five rights, four of them have come under direct violation. The only one that we haven’t seen governors, mayors go after is the freedom of the press. They’ve left that alone essentially…
Which means, religion, speech, petition and assembly have all come under attack and we can point to specific governors and mayors who have silenced one of those four things. So, press is the only one of those five that’s not come under attack.
The Second Amendment
They’ve left it alone. The Second Amendment, we saw the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi say, hey, during this crisis, so are going to have to spend Second Amendment no longer do you have the right to carry, keep and bear arms, concealed carry is out the door, you can’t do that. You don’t lose that right.
The Third Amendment essentially says, government can’t set up shop in your home and now they’re saying hey, we think you were close to someone who had COVID, put on this ankle bracelet and stay in your home. We’re going to be monitoring… Now, you can’t set up business in their home and regulate that.
The Fourth of the Eighth Amendments are all the Due Process Clauses. All the Due Process Clauses that we have in court are based on the assumption that you’re innocent till proven guilty. Well, we’ve done just the opposite code. But you’re all guilty, we think you’ve all got it, so we’re quarantine in every one of you. No. No. The ones who have it, you can do something there, but the ones who don’t, you can’t do that. So, there’s so many basis for this, the Fifth Amendment, the Takings Clause. Here’s something I think is very significant. And sometimes just looking back to foundations is really good.
Is the Constitution Important?
The Constitution is super important, but you can’t understand the Constitution without understanding the Declaration. The Declaration sits for six principles on which the Constitution operates, so to have those principles become very important here. One principle says there are certain inalienable rights that are given you there, they don’t come from government, they come from God, your Creator. And then the next clause says, and it’s the duty of government to protect those inalienable rights. So, we would say okay, inalienable right is the right to religion, it’s the right to defend myself. It’s the right to the sanctity of my home. It’s the right to due process. Those are all God given rights and we can show them in the scriptures.
But one of the interesting things, the Founding Fathers time after time after time said the right to earn a living is a natural right, it is a God given inalienable right. Government is supposed to protect your right to earn a living.
And specifically, right, many of the quotes says, the right to earn the best living that he can and that he can is important, because it is based on the ability, based on the work you put in, based on your level of productivity. And so, recognizing that God has given us all different gifts, talents and abilities, that aside, you should be able to use your gifts, talents and abilities, even though they might differ from somebody else’s, to the best of your ability to make the best profit you can and that is a natural right and that was identified by Jefferson, by Franklin. We can go down a list.
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In fact, I was just doing a Facebook Live earlier this week for the WallBuilders Facebook page. And we were talking about one of the articles from the Founders’ Bible that highlights the notion of economics and rewarding productive people and we did several quotes from Founding Fathers. But the idea is that God has given you ability and you should be able to use your ability to be as productive as you possibly can be and you shouldn’t be penalized or prohibited from using the gifts, talents and abilities God has given you.
So, when they shut down your business and say, hey, here’s the way you’ve been making a living. No, you started this business and you were a hairdresser, whatever. For Shelley Luther, people saw what happened in Dallas, she got her business shut down. No, you don’t do that. Government is to protect your right to make an income, doesn’t guarantee you an income. Government doesn’t have to guarantee you a job, but it does have to guarantee to protect your right to make that living. And as we said, so many these rights are based on the Bible. I would point to First Timothy 5:8 where the scripture says if you don’t provide for your own household, you’re worse than an infidel. You’ve denied the faith. I mean, there, God is telling us you provide for your own household.
So, I think the Takings Clause is where you’re going to see a lot of this. But this is certainly an inalienable right, that’s granted, it’s ones that is a right that is to be protected by government. And they’ve not done a good job of protecting the rights of people to earn their living and to receive the profit that comes from that earnings, so I think you will see a lot of lawsuits coming off this.
Constitutional Rights Violated During Covid Crisis – Foundation Of Freedom
Well, that’s why we as citizens have to know our rights. You got to know your rights, if you’re going to defend and assert them, if you’re going to even know when they’ve been violated as John Jay would have said as our first Chief Justice and signer of the Constitution and author of the Federalist Papers. I mean, he made it clear. We, the citizens need to study the Constitution, know our rights, notice when they’re violated and then properly defend and assert them. Every one of us as citizens have a duty and a responsibility to do that. We want to help get you educated on that.
Go to constitutioncoach.com. We have launched a new ‘Know Your Rights’ campaign. And we want to connect you with these law firms that are helping to overturn these unconstitutional orders. We’re working with Alliance Defending Freedom, with Liberty Council and Pacific Justice Institute and First Liberty, such great guys. These are the folks that win these cases. They fight all the way to the US Supreme Court. They are the best of the best.
So, go to constitutioncoach.com today, we can connect you with them or get you into a Constitution class. You can watch the videos on the website right there, start getting educated on your rights. You know, just as a virus needs a weakened immune system to attack your body, in the same way, a bad government needs weakened civics in a society to be able to happen. And so if we have stronger civics, if we’re teaching these things, it’s almost like an immunity, it helps prevent these kind of government overreaches, but we have to know our rights. Be sure to check it out today constitutioncoach.com and join us. We need you and you need us. Let’s work together to save our constitutional republic. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.
Samuel Adams said, “The liberties of our country and the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending against all hazards. And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”