Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
We’ve just seen, up close and personal, the huge problems with the declaration of a State of Emergency by some potentate from City Mayor to US President.
Legislators, this is a total usurpation of your legitimate power as specified in the Constitution, which defines the responsibilities and authority of the three branches of government.
Basically, any elected official can say:
“I now personally declare that I have Emergency Powers because of the State of Emergency that I just personally declared to be a real authentic Emergency! Bow before me, mere mortals!”
We’ve just seen this being done by the US President in order to give him power to do things like write the biggest check in US history to student debtors.
How can that be? Legislators, the President is taking the power of the purse away from the Senate and the House and claiming the authority to write a check of any amount to anyone he pleases! That’s totally wrong!
Not to mention Governors claiming the power to keep people in their homes, to force them to take medicines, to close down their businesses, and a host of other restrictions because of the COVID emergency.
And my own fear?
My fear is that these jerkwagons will declare a “climate emergency” that will authorize them to take any “climate” action they want—close down industries, ban cars, require heat pumps, the possibilities are endless.
So … how can we fix this badly broken system?
Here are my proposals:
First, we need to define what an emergency actually is. The dictionary definition is good:
a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.
“your quick response in an emergency could be a lifesaver”
This is a useful definition. For example, they’ve been warning us about the impending climate Thermageddon™ for fifty years. None of their warnings of catastrophe have come true.
And for 50 years they’ve been claiming that we need “immediate action”, right away … and despite us basically doing zip, no climate calamities have happened.
So by definition, the situation with the climate is not an emergency. Not unexpected, doesn’t require immediate action.
In any case, we need clear legislation at both the State and Federal level specifying things like:
• What constitutes an emergency.
• Who can declare an emergency.
• How long does the declaration last.
• What emergency powers the government can legally take.
• What emergency powers the government can not legally take.
With that as prologue, if I ran the circus I’d make the rules like this.
• Adopt the definition of “emergency” given above.
• Only allow a State of Emergency to be declared by a vote of 2/3 of the Legislature. If you can’t get 2/3 thirds of the Legislature to agree it’s an emergency, it’s not an emergency.
• Any State of Emergency expires 14 days after it is voted in. It can be extended twice, but only for 14 days each time, by a new 2/3 vote of the Legislature. After that, pass regular laws in a regular manner.
• No Legislator eligible to vote for the State of Emergency can be granted any emergency powers.
• No Emergency Order can contravene either the State or Federal Constitution.
• Members of the Executive Branch cannot use the State of Emergency to spend money without the approval of the Legislature.
• All Emergency Orders expire when the State of Emergency expires.
Yes, I know that’s just a rough first cut on what we need, subject to “a hundred visions and revisions before the taking of a toast and tea” … but it’s clear that we need something like that.
Because I don’t want someone from either political party empowered to say I can’t leave my home for months on end based on some bogus Chicken Little claim that “The sky is falling! EVERYONE PANIC!”.
And the current system, where the same person declaring the emergency assumes extraordinary emergency powers with no specifications or limits, that’s bull goose looney. Nothing good will come of that.
Regards to all,