“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

Holcomb

Ever since FDR’s “switch in time that saved nine,” our legal system and law schools have spewed out innumerable “constitutional law experts” who often claim that whatever any government official, agency, bureaucrat or cop can do to people is OK.  They do this by ignoring our short and simple constitutions to unleash an interminable fusillade of judicial pronouncements and federal/state code sections that, by their number of words alone, do seem to overwhelm the few political powers constitutions authorize.

…Except, of course, to someone who’s actually read the laws.

Nobody claims that Governor Holcomb’s COVID-19 mandates were actually authorized by any constitutions, state or federal.  The constitutions absolutely forbid executives from making laws.  Executive Orders are constitutionally actionable only if they’re only the details of executing laws written by legislators.

Other than invoking armed force against insurrection or invasion (which would be as ineffective against a virus as was Caligula’s attack on Poseidon), the Governor’s only constitutionally authorized emergency power is to call an emergency session of the General Assembly.

To be clear, the constitutions say that what the Governor did, and is still doing, is unconstitutional in both word and intent.

The Governor cited not the Indiana Constitution, but Indiana Code as his authority, specifically the statute, IC 10-14-3, the “Emergency Management and Disaster Law.”

That particular ream of legal effluvium does indeed appear to authorize every possible decree, action or mayhem, if read by itself; and if ignoring all the key principles of separation and limitations of powers in a republic.Kirk

Ironically, it’s even less-limited than the federal 40 U.S. Code § 1315 that Trump’s folks invoked against Portland protesters.

But consider what the Indiana Code says about its own authority in the hierarchy of law. What follows is IC 1-1-2 § 1-1-2-1:

“Section 1: The law governing this state is declared to be:

First. The Constitution of the United States and of this state.

Second. All statutes of the general assembly of the state in force, and not inconsistent with such constitutions.

Third. All statutes of the United States in force, and relating to subjects over which congress has power to legislate for the states, and not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States.

Fourth. The common law of England, and statutes of the British Parliament made in aid thereof prior to the fourth year of the reign of James the First (except the second section of the sixth chapter of forty-third Elizabeth, the eighth chapter of thirteenth Elizabeth, and the ninth chapter of thirty-seventh Henry the Eighth,) and which are of a general nature, not local to that kingdom, and not inconsistent with the first, second and third specifications of this section.”

Please note the order.  Last, or fourth, is case law.  This is what most USA citizens now think comes first.   Supreme Court does, in fact, sound supreme.  But it’s actually dead last in the legal hierarchy that determines what politicians can decree what we can do, can’t do, and must do for them.

Third is the federal code. Second, is the Indiana Code, as long as the code doesn’t contradict the constitutions, state or federal.

First on the list, of course, are the constitutions that say only legislators can legislate.

The Indiana Constitution’s Article I, Section 26 says very clearly says that only the General Assembly (our legislature) has any authority to suspend the laws protecting our rights from politicians under any circumstances.  Article I, Section 25 very clearly says that laws cannot create any authority not already granted.

And nowhere is the legislature granted authority to delegate away it’s power and more local accountability by the stroke of a pen.

The law is clear.  Why the Governor still refuses to call our legislators to work, is not. You’d think he wouldn’t want all the protests, disagreements from Sheriffs and Indiana’s Attorney General landing on him alone.
Unless, of course, he intentionally crossed this Rubicon and wants to be Caesar.lucy-charlie-brown-football

That’s history we really shouldn’t want to repeat.

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