courting freedom

the role of the courts is to stand up, not to roll over

remember, once upon a time, when courts were there to protect “we the people” and limit government to its enumerated powers? well, every here and there, we find one that still is.

SCOWI just struck down yet another gubernatorial covidian mandate in the land of the cheeseheads, this time for masks.

they deemed it unlawful and, with what our framers would have seen as appropriate judicial mandate:

“The question in this case is not whether the governor acted wisely; it is whether he acted lawfully. We conclude he did not,” Justice Brian Hagedorn wrote for the majority. “

this is a ruling based in law and in rights. the governor simply did not have the authority to do this and was declaring emergency after emergency to literally subvert the will of the people and their representatives in the state legislature who had flat out repealed this mask mandate. making an emergency of people getting the policy they voted for “because i know best” seems a pretty shaky premise for ruling a free society.

but not all on the court agreed. let us look at the dissent of justice ann walsh bradley:

this is a classic example of “asteriskism” where your rights* really mean “ *unless we decide that we know best for you.” it is, to my mind, the hallmark of bad judicial decision making, abrogation of law, and the death of a republic. some things ARE black and white, and rights are one of them. saying “you have rights except if XYZ happens” is not a compromise nor a middle ground. it means you do not have rights at all because they are neither inalienable nor possessed of primacy to the whims of the rulers. this render them privileges, not rights, and if they can be violated for one reason, they can be violated for any reason and new reasons will always be found. anyone calming that slippery slope is not a real risk is either not a very keen observer of human events or is seeking to push you down one.

but the majority disagreed with ms bradley, and thank goodness. they took a stand that, even if it was not as rooted in rights and protective of them as it could be, still at least served them by declaring these forms of repeated special pleading invalid.

finally, the courts drew a line and put an end to crying “emergency” endlessly to enable the state executive to act like a dictator in the face of public desire. this is a critical role for courts and one i wish a great many more would once more stand up and play. it’s the last line of defense against this sort of authoritarian power grab and a line of defense we desperately need given the braying of the media as they adopt their traditional role as cheerleaders for fascism.

let’s have a look at ABC:

“MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' statewide mask mandate on Wednesday, stripping the governor of one of his last remaining tools to curb the spread of the coronavirus as the state stands on the precipice of another surge in infections. “

“stripping the governor of one of his last remaining tools” sure sounds ominous. so does “precipice of a new round of infections.” but this is not just Orwellian doublespeak in which this newly usurped prerogative is flipped to be some sort of just power unfairly torn from the benign hands of the dear leader, it’s also rank mendacity. just what is this “precipice?” it’s now april and RTI season in wisconsin is ending. the current case data certainly does not show any worrying rise:

nor do deaths:

this is, of course, the same sort of howling about impending doom the press engaged in last year when courts struck down the shelter in place mandates in WI. that had no effect either. they got the same regional pattern as the neighbors and far from being a disaster, WI currently ranks 40th of 51 in the US for deaths per capita at 1,137 vs a US average of 1,708.

so perhaps we should take the wailings of the press corps about impending doom with a whole shaker of salt. (and perhaps some tequila and a lime while we’re at it) they have cheer-led lockdowns and played partisan politics all along. they were wrong then, and they are wrong now. despite claims that disallowing lockdowns would lead to dire results, there is not a state that borders WI that has lower deaths per capita. they would appear to be a success story, not a cautionary tale. perhaps the real caution should be applied to listening to experts and pundits?

i shall leave the readers to their own devices in terms of deciding what to make of a media so determined to carry water for those who would rob them of their rights and lock them in their homes, but i really do suggest you do so. consider the possibility that these folks are NOT on your side and seek to inflame you rather than inform you and that allowing them to do so is the slippery slope to serfdom.

give it some thought. the society you save may be your own.