Local governments can and must stand up against the most blatant tyranny of our day.
According to KTTV, the Huntington Beach City Council voted 4-3 early Wednesday morning to prohibit COVID-19 regulations in the city. The prohibition extends to both mask and vaccine mandates.
The city council meeting did not end until 2:48 a.m., according to KTTV, for unknown reasons. Without a doubt, the difficult subject and narrow vote serve to explain the lengthy meeting.
Mayor Pro Tem Gracey Van Der Mark introduced a declaration that mask mandates in 2020 and 2021 “unnecessarily limited the freedoms of the citizens of Huntington Beach — even those who were not around anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 or at risk of any exposure.”
Congratulations to the four courageous members of the Huntington Beach City Council.
Indeed, the only aspect of Van Der Mark’s assertion that would raise an eyebrow is the term “even those.” After all, regardless of an individual’s exposure to COVID-19, mask mandates lack legality.
The basic issue with mandates, both mask and vaccination, is that they lack the weight of legitimate authority.
Government officials in a republic have no power that the sovereign people do not expressly grant them.
And the addition of the word “expressly” makes all the difference. Only via written constitutions do the people of a constitutional republic like ours transfer power to their rulers. Governments cannot claim power just by virtue of their existence.
As a result, any prospective act of government must be authorized by the sovereign people in a written constitution.
The inverse of this idea would make self-government impossible. It would imply that the people are sovereign unless when those in authority decide differently.
There are no exceptions to the rule.
Similarly, exceptional circumstances do not suspend this concept. Governments do not suddenly gain power because a part of the populace is fearful.
With this premise in place, we don’t even need to consider mask or vaccination efficacy. Allow those alleged remedies to provide all of the protection on which their proponents religiously insist, and mandates will remain unconstitutional.
The Huntington Beach City Council vote brought up another critical and often-overlooked component of the mandate debate. There are no better and inferior governments in our constitutional framework. Each government should only act inside its own realm.
For example, in the United States, neither the federal government nor the state government of California has any more jurisdiction than a city council merely because they are larger.
Under one situation, a state mandate, for example, would overrule a municipal council action. The mandates would apply if the California constitution expressly enabled state officials to implement mask and vaccine mandates. At the federal level, the same is true.
I make no claim to be an expert on the California Constitution. There is no telling what contemporary people of that state may consider appropriate for themselves and their neighbors.
However, based on the United States Constitution, I am confident that no justification for mask and vaccine mandates exists.
When government authorities presume to require anything, we do not need to ask whether the commanded thing is beneficial. We merely need to know where such officials acquire their authority.
If we haven’t given them the authority, we don’t have to — in fact, we mustn’t — comply.