- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 23, 2020

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser just issued an executive order requiring all citizens and visitors to wear masks when outside, or else face possible fines of up to $1,000. She’s just one of many around the nation issuing similar or identical orders and enforcement threats.

And all the free citizens go: Where are the constitutional gate guards? Specifically, where are the lawyers? You’re needed, and needed fast.

It’s one thing for the federal government to declare a national emergency based on a health crisis, and for the governors of states to follow with the same. It’s another thing entirely for these same politicos to run wild with power over the backs of Americans, issuing order here, order there, dictate here, demand there — all based on questionable science and statistics that hardly justify the continuance of the formally declared health emergency.

Mark these words and take a warning: This coronavirus emergency will last as long as the power mad can make it last.

It has little to do with emergency any more, and much, much, much more to do with control. Here’s a thought for ya: If the medically protective need for face masks is due in large part to save others from the spittle during speaking and coughing and sneezing — how come Dr. Anthony Fauci, today’s leading face of the face mask mandate crowd, kept pulling his face mask off while, get this, speaking during a recent Capitol Hill hearing? If anything, it would seem that every time he went to speak would be the very time he went to readjust his mask to make sure it covered his nose and mouth.

So as to protect everybody else from the virus, that is.

“[I]f you’re waiting for a bus, you must have on a mask,” Bowser said at a recent press conference to announce her new order. “If you are ordering food at a restaurant, you must have on a mask. If you’re sitting in a cubicle in an open office, you must have on a mask.”

Says who?

Says Bowser — and she threatens a fine of $1,000 per violation per violator, as stick.

Beverly Hills only fines $100 for first offenders, then $200 for a second offense and $500 for third and subsequent offenses. Other cities and jurisdictions in California mandate masks, and cite violators with fines, as well.

In Florida, too. In Michigan, as well. In Hawaii, also.

In fact, there are scores upon scores upon scores of executively ordered face mask mandates in places across America, along with stiff fines that come for those who refuse to obey. But how about a little refresher in constitutional law?

America is not a kingdom.

Governors are not kings.

Executive orders are not duly passed laws by duly elected representatives. And just because there’s a declared national health emergency doesn’t mean the elected wonks get carte blanche to toss out limited government principles and do as pleased.

And with face mask mandates — and particularly, with face mask fines — it’s time for the legal world to step up, step in and start taking on some cases. Lots of cases.

Florida state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, a lawyer, has filed several suits on behalf of his clients. And across the country, there are several challenges being waged against these orders — and even, in some cases, against face mask ordinances that were rushed to passage by local bodies.

But there should be wide spread outrage here among the legal minds of the nation.

Wide spread, loud, angry outrage of the class-action kind. Recommendations are one thing; dictates and fines for unconstitutional dictates — meaning, those imposed unilaterally, by a single bureaucrat, without any law as backing — are something else entirely.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends face masks. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends face masks. The White House recommends face masks — even while some in the White House themselves abstain from wearing face masks.

And that right there is all Americans want for themselves: choice.

Americans aren’t stupid; Americans aren’t helpless children, dependent on nannies in Big Government to protect them from getting sick.

All Americans want is the same free choice that, say, the president — a public servant — gets. All Americans want are executives at federal and state levels who let them live, freely, without the random, ever-changing, non-scientifically based dictates and accompanying threats of punitive fines.

It’s time for more lawyers to step forward and take up these cases. There’s a class action brewing and for some enterprising attorney, or group of attorneys, a massive legal battle that’s begging for representation. Or, in legal speak: There’s lots of money to be made here.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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