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by David Tulis, NoogaRadio.com, ©2020

Photo: David Tulis

(Apr. 9, 2020) — In this forum, I urge the Hamilton County commission to respect four provisions of the Tennessee constitution that shield the people’s rights, even amid a medical panic.

By executive order the people of Chattanooga and other cities across Tennessee have effectively lost their legal protections under the constitution.

Executive orders by Gov. Bill Lee declaring a statewide lockdown exceed his grant of authority under emergency powers, it appears, but also contradict clear statutes that grant police powers during a public emergency.

David Tulis warns county commission to respect the rights of the people under the Tennessee constitution.

Those laws are the quarantine law, which empowers state action against the recalcitrant and uncooperative sick, and the tuberculosis statute, which outlines legal protocol for the establishing of a person’s illness with that disease. That law is Tenn. Code Ann. 68-1-201, power to quarantine. The TB statute makes clear that coercive power is applied under judicial ruling, based on medical evidence, decided on by a judge in a hearing or trial.

By law, the rights of the people are off limits to the legislature. No right can be overridden by state action, unless that overriding of a right is done with respect to due process.

The rights of the people are off limits to the governor, even under the necessity of a public health emergency.


 Built into Tennessee law is respect for the people, and a high regard for their ability to cope with life, even life filled with danger and risk.

With their executive orders, officials act to de-individuate the operation of state power. Rather than particular probable cause being required to allow a confrontation between the police and a citizen. There are no exceptions. “Necessity” is always a claim and practice of men. Rights come from God, and these men do not recognize them.

The citizens are protected by law in their having God-given, constitutionally guaranteed, unalienable and inherent rights that accrue to them as individuals because they are made in God’s image and have duties and obligations to Him in sustenance of their wives, children, families enterprises and properties.

Martial law destroys in every household a property right. That property right is due process. Our property rights are noted in Acts 17:28 that says, “For in him we live, we move, we have our being.” Thomas Jefferson borrowed from this verse to encompass those rights to be protected by American law.

Suppose you demand a jury trial for having violated a “stay at home” decree by your mayor? Who are the people on the jury? They are those who were cowed by the directive of the governor — men and women who live in fear and terror, and cannot be convinced by your defense that you committed no crime and no offense.

If officials throw out the constitution, is there any limit to what they can do? Does not the elimination of the constitution give rise to arbitrary and capricious acts by officers, field commanders, supervisors, deputies, sheriffs and police chiefs. Does not such a circumstance allow for the worst of Jim Crow to continue to operate?

Read the rest here.


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