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  • Writer's pictureBrianna Lyman

Democrats Are Using COVID-19 As A Test Run to Take Away Your Constitutional Rights

Our government has spent the past 8 weeks trying to convince us to blindly sacrifice our constitutional rights under the guise of ‘fear’. They’ve saturated the threat of COVID, plastered ‘doomsday’ messages on social media and in the news, and they’ve called Americans ‘selfish’ for rejecting their overreach. 

There is no asterisk in the Constitution, no clause that negates your sacred rights in times of uncertainty, and no mention of ‘non-essential rights’ during a time of crisis. 

In fact, the very reason we have a Bill of Rights is exactly what we need them for this very instant: government stripping you of individual liberties because they say it’s a time of crisis. 

They’re right in a sense. It is a time of crisis.

A constitutional crisis. 

Perhaps the most important outcome of this pandemic won’t be the death toll, hospitalization rates, or realization that our healthcare system is inadequate. The most important outcome will be whether we the people hold our government accountable for their blatant disregard of our constitutional rights.  

The Fifth Amendment reads: 

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Executive orders shutting down ‘non-essential’ businesses violate the Takings Clause (bold).

The Takings Clause makes clear that individuals are not to be held responsible for excessive burdens even to support the common good. 

Forcing individuals to shut their business down in an effort to ‘stop the spread’ is an excessive burden. “Just compensation” means the business owner receives fair market value compensation; giving a one time stimulus check of $1,200 is not fair compensation. 

In Armstrong v. United States (1960), SCOTUS ruled that the Takings Clause “was designed to bar Government from forcing some people alone to bear public burdens which, in all fairness and justice, should be borne by the public as a whole”.  For example, this means that forcing small businesses like a fabric store to shut down while allowing the liquor store next door to remain open is unfair, unjust, and wrong. Therefore, the executive order should have forced both the fabric store and liquor store to shut down. 

It didn’t. 

SCOTUS has also affirmed that “government regulation of private property many, in some instances, be so onerous that its effect is tantamount to a direct appropriation or ouster-and that such ‘regulatory takings’ may be compensable under the Fifth Amendment.”

These executive orders forcing businesses to close down violates individuals right to due process, since these business owners now have to bear the burden of the Executive Order in an arbitrary manner. 

To better understand this, these Executive Orders are arbitrary because they permit businesses like Walmart, CVS, liquor stores, and grocery stores to remain open unhindered. Yet, small businesses are somehow the culprit of COVID and must stay closed? These policies are clearly not thought through in the slightest. 

While something like this has never happened before and therefore there’s no precedent, states have leeway in determining whether a business is ‘essential’ or ‘non-essential’. ‘Essential’ is generally understood to include grocery stores, pharmacies, and emergency personnel. However, what makes a liquor store ‘essential’ but not a fabric store? 

Every single job is essential to the person working it. The reason everyone works is because it’s essential and imperative that they get a paycheck to pay the bills to survive. 

But suddenly they’re not essential?

Bills don’t disappear.

Hunger doesn’t disappear.

But jobs do. 

This artificial clamp on the economy in a bid to prevent a virus with over a 90% survival rate isn’t out of concern for public safety. This is a test run to see how far the government can go before we end our blind complacency. 

Your rights are at stake. Hold your elected officials accountable.


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