Federalism Not Absolutism Is The Cure For A Pandemic

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedBelow is my column in the Washington Post on President Donald Trump’s assertions of “absolute” and “total” power over the states.  While he appeared to dial back on the rhetoric in the last two days, President Trump again yesterday said that he could have issued orders shutting down every state but decided to let the governors do it.  There remains a fundamental misconception of the President’s authority in our system of federalism.

Here is the column:

President Trump caused a stir Monday morning by declaring not only that he would decide when to open the country – resuming something like normal economic activity after coronavirus-related lockdowns – but that he had the ultimate authority to do so:

Trump doubled down in Monday evening’s White House coronavirus task force briefing, saying “the federal government has absolute power” to direct Americans back to their normal routines and “when somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total.” It was a startling shift after the president correctly maintained for weeks that state governments, not the federal government, have primary authority to prepare for and deal with a pandemic. After leaving it to governors to implement various stay-at-home orders, Trump is now asserting the unilateral authority to lift such state orders.

He’s wrong. Our Constitution was written precisely to the deny that particular claim.

It was also designed to limit federal authority, generally. Under our federalist system, the default authority remains with the states. As James Madison explained in the Federalist No. 45, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” In other words, faced with a conflict with the states, the federal government must rely on express, not presumed, authority, particularly in areas like public health and police powers. In such conflicts, courts return home to the 10th Amendment, which says that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” In other words, when federal push comes to state shove, the states are supposed to win.

If we reach a point in this crisis where a national vaccination program is on the table, an important authority is the Supreme Court’s decision in Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905), which upheld a state’s right to enforce such a program. The court held: “The safety and the health of the people of Massachusetts are, in the first instance, for that Commonwealth to guard and protect. They are matters that do not ordinarily concern the National Government. So far as they can be reached by any government, they depend, primarily, upon such action as the State in its wisdom may take, and we do not perceive that this legislation has invaded any right secured by the Federal Constitution.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has limited authority to quarantine individuals but not to impose broad stay-at-home orders. There is one ambiguous provision in the federal code titled “Measures in the event of inadequate local control,” which reserves the right of the CDC director to “take such measures to prevent such spread of the diseases as he/she deems reasonably necessary.” That authority is designed to allow tougher public health protections than a local government has ordered, when necessary to protect public health.

But what Trump suggests is that there is a type of inverse power to order more lax public health measures over state objections. Yet the pandemic rules were designed to ensure more protective health measures, not protect against them. Trump has alluded to a type of pan-economic power to force states to prioritize economics over pandemic concerns. Not only does no such express power exist, it would contradict core principles of our constitutional system.

Federalism is a strength, not a weakness, in a pandemic, allowing highly tailored plans that are primarily administered by state and local officials, for better or worse. A 2015 New York State Department of Health report, for example, shows that New York, which has borne the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic, received this warning, which wasn’t adequately heeded: “If an influenza pandemic on the scale of the 1918 pandemic were to occur, it is possible that New York would face a significant shortage of ventilators.”

The flip side of federalism is that, just as states decide how to prepare and act on a pandemic, they also get to decide when to stop such measures. Each state is allowed to balance the possible costs of a resurgence of cases against the costs of harming its economy by continuing public health measures. It is the ultimate policy decision, and it remains a state decision with likely different priorities in different states. Regardless of the state choice, however, a constitutional order imposed by a governor must be lifted by that governor.

As president, Trump has the bully pulpit to argue that case, and many governors are likely to listen to him. By calling for the nation to reopen, he offers some political cover for governors who can rely on the federal guidance. The federal government can also threaten to extend or withhold forms of financial support or cooperation for states that oppose the federal plan – but that power is limited. The Supreme Court has struck down federal laws that effectively “commandeer” states to carry out federal policies, including supporting the striking down of parts of the Affordable Care Act. As the court wrote in one of the most critical cases, Printz v. United States (1997), “Such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty.”

The constitutional reality is that the president’s desire to order the opening up of the country falls somewhere between the aspirational and the persuasive. Federalism dictates as a constitutional matter what task force member Anthony Fauci believed is required as a public health matter: The return to normalcy will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction rather than be “one-size-fits-all.” The founders, of course, were not seeking to combat contagions when they created our system. They were trying to avert tyranny.

Trump has to convince, not command, governors on what is best for their states.

140 thoughts on “Federalism Not Absolutism Is The Cure For A Pandemic”

  1. “The Great American Pandemic Panic and Melodrama of 2020”

    Panic and mass hysteria are not reasonable grounds.

    Americans have the constitutional right to assembly and states do not have the power to deny constitutional rights. Americans do not have a right to kill or injure others and laws may be written against those acts by all governmental levels.

    Assembly does not kill. The “Wuhan Flu” does not kill. Comorbidities kill. Comorbidities kill approximately 0.00333333333333% of the U.S. population. The “Wuhan Flu” will cause various degrees of discomfort as do annual, “usual and customary” colds and flu.

    No level of government has any demonstrable, absolute probable cause to justify a “quarantine” or to deny constitutional rights. Panic and mass hysteria do not constitute probable cause. Free Americans have the right to assemble, to voluntarily and freely disassemble, to act to avoid diseases and pathologies and to obtain advise from selected medical “experts” and professionals (caveat emptor).

    The lesson or takeaway from the incident of the “Wuhan Flu” is that America has far too many laws. Oh, and you can run but you can’t hide. The “Wuhan Flu” will touch everyone eventually. Individuals must be concerned with the vitality and effectiveness of their own immune systems. More importantly, individuals must always be concerned with the seizure of power by tyrants and dictators, the very definition of communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats).

    1. You idiot! Covid 19 is much more contagious than the flue. The death rate is ten times that of the flue. The Rn is about 3 where as for the flue its about -1. There is no vaccine. If there was not lock down, models estimate that there would be 1.5 to 2 million deaths in the US in a year! Look what happened in NY. Listen to the despair of the doctors and nurses, many of whom have died. If there was no lock down where would you put all the dead bodies! Look what happened in 1918, with Polio, with Small Pox, Syphilis before a cure. The States absolutely have a right to protect it citizens, especially from fools like you. I can’t drive 100mph, not wear my seat belt, not pay my taxes, drive drunk, send my kids to public school if they have not been vaccinated, etc, etc!

      1. “There ain’t no time to wonder why,

        We’re all gonna die!”

        – Country Joe and the Fish

        1. Thank you for the concession of your ad hominem attack. I appreciate it.

          “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!”

          – Henny Penny

          Your boy, Fauci did an Ouchi. Fauci said there is no problem and “…nothing that people are doing should be changed…” on February 29, 2020. That’s your “expert.”

          You haven’t provided any statistics with any basis in fact. Your “models” are continuously revised. They are the biggest joke of the new millennium. Deaths as a percentage of the population constitute 0.00333 % of the population. 99% of patients recover as with the typical colds and flu.

          You haven’t cited any section of the Constitution which provides emergency powers. You communists want dictatorship. We get that. You have no concept of American constitutional freedom and the limits and restrictions on government. You join in with the communists because you can’t take care of yourself and to obtain “free stuff” and right to kill babies. Period.

          The only thing that is ever going to stop any and all viruses is the human immune system – the sooner you get it, the sooner you get rid of it.

          “It has been estimated there are over 380 trillion viruses inhabiting us,…”

          Meet the trillions of viruses that make up your virome

          By David Pride, University of California San Diego and Chandrabali Ghose, The Rockefeller University

          If you think you don’t have viruses, think again.

          It may be hard to fathom, but the human body is occupied by large collections of microorganisms, commonly referred to as our microbiome, that have evolved with us since the early days of man. Scientists have only recently begun to quantify the microbiome, and discovered it is inhabited by at least 38 trillion bacteria. More intriguing, perhaps, is that bacteria are not the most abundant microbes that live in and on our bodies. That award goes to viruses.

          It has been estimated that there are over 380 trillion viruses inhabiting us, a community collectively known as the human virome. But these viruses are not the dangerous ones you commonly hear about, like those that cause the flu or the common cold, or more sinister infections like Ebola or dengue. Many of these viruses infect the bacteria that live inside you and are known as bacteriophages, or phages for short. The human body is a breeding ground for phages, and despite their abundance, we have very little insight into what all they or any of the other viruses in the body are doing.

          – EarthSky

  2. The Michigan Protests And Their Connection To Betsy DeVos

    Michigan Freedom Fund is a listed host of the in-car rally and spent $250 to promote it on Facebook. It’s also sharing updates about the protest on social media.

    There’s another wrinkle, too. The group was founded by Greg McNeilly, political adviser to the DeVos family, a powerful name in Michigan Republican politics who’ve also contributed to the group financially.

    You’re probably familiar with the name. Betsy DeVos now serves as secretary of education in Trump’s administration.

    Whitmer tried to tie Betsy DeVos specifically to the proposed protest this week. There’s no evidence that the secretary is linked to the protest; the executive director of the Michigan Freedom Fund denied that DeVos herself was at all involved in the effort.

    Again, though, the politics are complicated. The DeVoses have focused on combating government interventions, particularly when the government is helmed by Democrats. In this case, they’ve targeted the Democratic governor — who’s enacting a policy that is broadly endorsed by a Republican president. The link between the DeVos family and this protest is indirect, though the political sentiment instilled in the Freedom Fund shines through. It’s similarly evident in the protesters themselves, a group broadly supportive of Trump but not of Whitmer. That despite the differences between the leaders being ones of scale and partisan identity.

    Edited From: “A Caravan Of Angry Michiganders Exposes The Complicated Politics Of The Corona Virus Shutdown ”

    The Washington Post, 4/15/20

    1. Michigan Freedom Fund Run By Employee Of Dick DeVos, Betsy’s Husband

      Below is a 2019 reprint of a story that first ran in 2012.  The piece is specifically about a ‘Right To Work Law’ being pushed by ‘The Michigan Freedom Fund’.  Yet the article clearly explains that the group is led by Dick McNeilly, an employee of Dick DeVos husband of Betsy, the current Education Secretary.  At the time this story first appeared, Betsy DeVos was only known to Michigan.

      The source here is Michigan Live, a state news source based in Grand Rapids.  Links that follow are the official Michigan Freedom Fund site and their Facebook page.

      LANSING — A new group calling itself the the “Michigan Freedom Fund” has begun running radio and television ads in support of “right-to-work” legislation.

      The advocacy organization, run by Greg McNeilly, an employee of Dick DeVos’ Windquest Group, yesterday announced a 60-second statewide radio ad, and The Detroit Free Press reports that one of the first television commercials ran in the metro area last night.

      A right-to-work law would prohibit unions from requiring employees to pay dues as a condition of employment. UAW President Bob King has compared potential legislation to a “war on workers,” and unions say it would hurt their ability to fight for employee wages and benefits.

      The new ads frame the contentious debate in the context of freedom.

      “Joining a union — or choosing not to join — should be every individual workers choice,” Greg McNeilly, president of the Michigan Freedom Fund, said in a release announcing the radio spots. “Workplace freedom and equality safeguards workers’ rights to bargain collectively and means more jobs. That’s a win-win.”




      1. We all must be “white” deniers as we say, “I’m black and I’m proud.”

        White racism bad.

        Black racism good.

        White success bad.

        Black success good.

        How long will Americans buy their own demise?

  3. Most of the misconceptions comes from the re-framed, re-defined attempts to manufacture misconceptions. I have zero problems understanding starting with it’s a whole document and one cannot cherry pick here and there. Case in point is the references to the military found in three or four places. Article 1, Article 2 Who selects commissioned officers, the oath of office, who writes the regulations add in the Amendments or other bills and the misconception that it can be ignored especially the 9th and 10th Amendments. The only misconceptions are those by the Non Constitutionalists trying to replace it with a new manifesto of socialism.

  4. Korematsu is a supreme Court case which should be implemented by the Commander in Chief and he should round up illegal migrants and put em in concentration camps. The Supreme Court sould uphold this again.
    Hugo Black wrote the opinion back in WWII.

  5. Trump Convenes Call With Business Leaders To Reopen Economy 

    He Then Ignores Feedback While Claiming Their Support 

    Trump convened conference calls with business leaders to help him decide on new, nonbinding federal guidelines that would relax social distancing, to create the appearance of marshaling the country behind him as he projects decisiveness.

    But many of those business leaders then privately warned Trump that reopening the economy without substantially more testing could prove catastrophic, and renewed their calls to ramp up such testing.

    Was that a problem for Trump? Nope! Trump then simply boasted at one of his daily briefings that we have “the most expansive testing system anywhere in the world,” even though we’re actually lagging far behind other nations in per capita testing. He’s in charge!

    You may have noticed a pattern here, in which all that matters to Trump is the theatrical appearance of being in charge and getting results, in a manner that’s entirely divorced from underlying realities.

    Trump is set to announce his new, relaxed social distancing guidelines on Thursday. The Post reports that the goal is to “reopen much of the country’s economy.”

    Seeking to build “national momentum” for this move, Trump’s handlers organized conference calls throughout Wednesday in which Trump solicited input from executives and industry groups.  But as numerous reports have documented, the process was a mess. 

    Some business and labor leaders didn’t know they’d been included until Trump publicly named them. But one thing many participants agreed on was that restarting the economy now is dangerous without a lot more testing.

    Edited From: “Pathetic Displays Like This Are All Trump Has Left”

    Today’s Washington Post 


      Business leaders said: “Yeah, we’d love to re-open the economy. But first we need reliable tests”. Yet Trump simply ignored that caveat.

    2. “Trump Convenes Call With Business Leaders To Reopen Economy

      He Then Ignores Feedback While Claiming Their Support ”

      Paint Chips, you lie, but that is mild when one compares lying to applauding the deaths and destruction of families from the Coronavirus because you believe you will realize your dreams of socialism. Are you related to Stalin or Mao?

  6. Forget the power Congress gave the President for National Emergencies? Dems never thought Trump would be the one to exercise those power! Ha Ha!

    1. Is there a point to that ramble? Forgetting the stupidity, the sentences are tangential; learn to write coherent thoughts unless you wish to be allied with Alan.

  7. Turley says: “It was a startling shift after the president correctly maintained for weeks that state governments, not the federal government, have primary authority to prepare for and deal with a pandemic.”
    Note the key word AUTHORITY, which isn’t the same as responsibility. The U.S. is part of the WHO, which gathers information on communicable diseases worldwide and coordinates vaccine production and which works with our CDC, a federal agency. The CDC compiles information from the states on communicable diseases, tracks hot spots, and makes recommendations based on best practices.The CDC provides virus samples to private companies working on tests, vaccines and antimicrobial drugs, so there is uniformity, and the FDA approves the vaccines and drugs after proof of safety and efficacy.

    Is Turley claiming that each state is supposed to individually belong to the WHO, that each state is supposed to track communicable diseases worldwide and those in each state, and is each state supposed to obtain virus samples and produce vaccines? Would each individual state then have the right and duty to approve vaccines? If the RESPONSIBILITY for handling pandemics lies solely with the states, then why do we have a CDC and an FDA? What is the national stockpile for? Whose PPE and ventilators are those? Who paid for them? Why had there previously been a pandemic response team and playbook?

    Turley is just trying to offer cover for Trump’s abject failures of leadership, the daily lying, the circus-like flip flopping on closing schools and businesses, wearing face masks, and the absolute lack of any clear direction, milestones or overall plan, other than to try to prevent the Republican routing that is coming. As with everything else in his pathetic existence, everything he does is all about him, him, him. The sole reason he is trying to drag business leaders into the decision to re-open schools and businesses is for cover because every single infectious disease expert concurs: because we have inadequate testing, there is too great a risk of a massive spike in cases. If any governors are stupid enough to prematurely re-open schools and businesses and there is a big spike, well, he’ll have someone to blame. This virus is highly contagious, and all that has happened so far is that the curve has been blunted, which has helped prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. The risk is far from over.Therefore, essentially everyone is quarantined. We don’t even know whether having COVID-19 once means you are permanently immune. We don’t have a vaccine or herd immunity, and we don’t have a safe or effective drug to treat this illness.

    Trump didn’t have the authority to close schools and businesses and he doesn’t have the authority to command that they be re-opened, either. No one told him that, either. He’s just lying. Watch how he speaks: he likes to use words like “powerful”, “incredible”, etc., all of which he thinks describe him.

    Meanwhile, there was the pathetic, phony “protest march” in Michigan. Trumpsters are becoming more and more transparent. Governor Whitmer is female, attractive and popular, and she is a Democrat. She closed businesses and schools in her state, so some pro-Trump group organized a fake “protest” yesterday, closing down a major street right before change of shift at a nearby hospital, so there were hospital workers who couldn’t get to work. Funny thing, however, is that in neighboring Indiana, whose Governor is a Republican, also closed down everything, but there weren’t any protest marches there. And, Indiana’s ICU beds are only 44% occupied, but Trumpy Bear is still sending good ol’ red Indiana 100 ventilators that it neither needs nor wants. Is it a coincidence that Mikey Pence is from Indiana?

    Does it stink yet to you Trumpsters?

    1. Natacha – I saw the film. That was not a fake protest, it was very real. Over 200,000 people have signed a petition to recall Whitmer. This during a pandemic.

      Still waiting for those BMI scores.

      1. Did you also see the group that organized this phony “protest”? One of those right-wing pro-Trump groups. And, what about blocking hospital workers from getting to their jobs at change of shift? Absolutely immoral.

        Still waiting on your IQ score.

        1. IQ, ha. Are you talking to me Nutcaca? See if you can figure out what two standard deviations above the mean is and there’s your answer. Not that it matters.

            1. Natacha – I was a tutor for the athletic dept when I was in grad school. Plus, I did individuals on the side.

        2. Natascha, Paul, those protesters in Michigan actually have ties to a group funded by Betsy DeVos! And they were chanting, “Lock her up”, in reference to Whitmore. Like that’s the only chant they know.

            1. It’s all cited above, Paul. The Michigan Freedom Fund is run by an employee of DeVos’s husband.

                1. No, Paul, it’s run by an employee of Dick DeVos’, exactly as I said. They’ve been a presence in Michigan politics for several years. I posted a thorough explanation of who they are but our Moderator is keeping it bottled up for reasons that make no sense.

                  1. Peter – employee of Dick DeVos = Betty DeVos = Donald Trump. That is the thinking.

                    1. Paul, Betsy DeVos has been ultra-controversial since Day 1. First she championed Charter Schools in Michigan that leaned heavily ‘Christian’ while achieving poor results. Then at the Education Department she was highly partial to For-Profit Schools while trying to hold back refunds to student debtors defrauded by For-Profits. What’s more, DeVos’ brother is the Founder Of Blackwater Security, the controversial contractor infamous from problems in Iraq. In short, nothing about DeVos, her husband or brother is the least bit sympathetic.

                  2. several years? ever heard of Amway? try like about 60 years


                    Seth, I doubt Darren cares about you talking about the Devos family or not. But since you say so, I will share some of that information, and I did about ten minutes ago too before I saw your whine about the moderator

                    Personally, I admire them, I count Dutch Americans from Western Michigan as friends and some of the best Americans I have ever known. Clean, neat, industrious, law abiding, sober, honest, tall and good looking usually, they are fantastic people as a group and we’re blessed to have them.

                    Sadly, and yet necessarily, that great festival of Dutch American ethnic heritage, Tulip Time, is being cancelled around the country, including right on the East coast of Lake Michigan, the charming small town of Holland Michigan


                    Holland Michigan, home of another fine American, the patriot Erik Prince

                    that’s just north of Saugatuck. Hey, Saugatuck is sin city for Western Michigan, but we love to visit there too.

                    1. Mr. K:
                      Typically not a fan of Northern European culture (Nordics? Yuck) but you gotta admire the Franks, Charlemagne and the Carolingian Empire. The Dutch people are warm, friendly, industrious people in my experience, too.

                    2. Aww, Mespo! You’re dissing my people! How can you not love a people who influenced Tolkien and gave the world Beowulf and great words like skull, berserk, and freckle! 😉

                    3. Kurtz, we’re not talking about Amway!! We’re talking about The Michigan Freedom Fund. Pay attention!

                    4. I have Dutch ancestors going back to New Amsterdam (the rest is English/German from the late 19th century). An interesting book called The Island At The Center of the World contrasts New Amsterdam with Puritan New England and British Virginia and declares its traditions the more American, and much like modern New York. A polyglot free wheeling market town with bars, hookers, slaves, and get rich quick traders. It talks also of the Dutch culture at home, which was a center of secular free thinking, again, dominated by markets and traders. I recommend it, and like to claim that as my heritage.


                    5. PR:

                      “Aww, Mespo! You’re dissing my people!”

                      Present company excluded, of course, but that food they served me in Sweden was really YUCK! Pickled herring.

                    6. Mespo,
                      I don’t mind the pickled herring; acquired taste, I guess. You’re lucky you didn’t get lutefisk! I’ve never had that but I’ve heard it’s horrid (my grandpa liked it, though).

                      I recommend the cardamom bread or the ostakaka with lingonberry or strawberry jam.

          1. You know where else there was a fake “protest’–Kentucky, whose Governor is also a Democrat, but still none in good ol’ Indiana, which has Eric Holcomb, Mikey Pence’s successor as Governor.

            It’s obvious and it stinks.

        3. Natacha – high enough to qualify for MENSA. Now I need that BMI score.

                1. Natacha – are you ashamed of your BMI score? Is that why you won’t share it?

                  1. What does my BMI score have to do with anything? No matter what I’d say, you’d accuse me of lying. You are just pivoting away from facts and the truth, like your hero. The subject is closed.

                    1. Natacha – your BMI has to do with your continued attack on the weight of the POTUS. So, let’s pony up those figures. And it is closed when I say it is closed.

                    2. Trump IS a fatass. You are a dumbass. Res ipsa loquitur. And, you don’t get to command me to do anything or continue to harass me. One other thing: you’re not going to shut me up, either.

                    3. Natacha – at any point have I tried to shut you up? Geez, I hope so. Still looking for your BMI score. Projecting about Trump being a fata$$ aren’t you?

                    4. Natasha, your BMI is about 20, right? Paul’s IQ is maybe 90.

                      Can we move on?

                    5. anon – if my BMI was 90 I would not be able to get into my gaming chair.

    2. You/’re not from Michigan, Indiana, or anywhere near the Midwest, Natacha so don’t condescend to wag your annoying finger at us out here in flyoverland

      anyhow there are signficant differences between Michigan and Indiana’s definitions of ESSENTIAL workers.

      Lawyers: Michigan, Not essential. Stay home!

      Indiana, essential

      Agricultural workers on down to the local kid mowing the lawns in Indiana: ESSENTIAL

      Michigan: Not.

      Both states have major agricultural bases so of course Indiana is not protesting and Michigan is.

      I could fold in Illinois to this comparison, and elaborate, but why bother– you never admit it or correct yourself, ever

      1. I can tell you there’s some crazy stuff happening in Chicago too, like the cops setting up internal checkpoints in the city, which is bizarre, and potentially spreads the disease just stopping and talking to people but what do you expect from geniuses in Crook county

        even the ACLU questions this

        oh and they’re sucking up massive cell phone locater data and plotting that too– hey, whee, just like China!
        as if snooping on everyone’s whereabouts will necessarily stop spread whatsoever.

        1. Kurtz, take your own advice and start making masks. This isn’t a police state and you know it. Are some cops hanging out with nothing to do and coming up with bad ideas they think they should try? Sure. So what. We’ve got bigger problems than that. Like where are the tests and the PPE?

          1. Chicago has checkpoints set up, Im not making that up. That’s perhaps a bridge too far? If the key thing is to avoid proximate physical contact, then why needlessly increase it?


            I have a lot of PPE in supply for household and workers, thanks. And using them. As others should too. Certainly including police. They say they will; so I hope so.

            Perhaps an even better idea is to skip the needless pullovers of cars without any probable cause that a crime’s been committed. Or, perhaps the traffic is so much they have decided they need to do this. I doubt it however. I’ll report back to this website if anything worth mentioning develops on that one, but for now it just seems peculiarly heavy handed and at least worth some small notice.

      2. What does any of this have to do with a fake “protest” organized by a pro-Trump group with ties to Betsy DeVos, or Indiana getting sent ventilators it neither needs nor wants? The key difference is that Eric Holcomb, Gov. of good ol’ ruby-red Indiana is a Republican, and Gretchen Whitmer, Gov. of Michigan is a Democrat, is female, attractive and has real prospects for national office. So, the deplorables block the street to a hospital at change of shift time, chanting “lock her up”. Lawyers can, and do work from home. How much agricultural work is being done right now in Michigan, where it snowed last night? Fake comparisons.

        1. What you know about agricultural work fits in a thimble. This is the time for preparation of beds in gardens. and corn plantings begin in april. there is plenty of work to do in agricultural operations right now getting ready for the end of the frost which is around may day. of couse whitmer does not draw her base from there so she doesn’t care.

          It’s no coincidence that someone from the Devos clan may have organized it, they have been leading in economic development of western michigan for oh i dont know, 60 years? before Whitmer was even born. people who know the place, know that. and they are responsive to all the orchards, blueberry operations, wineries, corn and soy farmers, you name it, which characterize so much of michigan– outside the blue-voting counties, at least.

          oh and here’s another name which is known in western michigan another family of Dutch Americans who have contributed decades of economic development and probably tens of thousands of jobs with their industry


          now i grant that there were a lot of goofy people out there at that protest, i am sorry so many of them were foolishly not wearing masks, but it wasnt the slightest bit fake whatsoever. they have legitimate interests, the protest was big and it was sincere and these are people who are Michigan residents too. Michigan is more than just Detroit and its environs and Ann Arbor. But Whitmer knows Western michigan is not her base so she simply doesn’t care about how these people are being pinched right now and want to get back to work. And here you are calling these humble people “deplorables,: just as arrogant as Hillary, but without the CV to back it up.

          But you don’t know a thing about it do you? besides what you selectively pick off your news feed to make your daily rounds of talking points

  8. State’s have “powers”. Not necessarily “rights”. That “stated rights” thing is a Jim Crow thing. And I don’t denigrate Crow birds.
    When the terrorists come across our borders our fed govt has the duties and all the power to kick em out. State’s can not be sanctuary.
    Nuff said Fred.

  9. Trump hasn’t read the CONSTITUTION SO HE CANT MISCONSTRUE IT. He has no interest in what it says or how our great experiment in democracy is supposed to work. He’s a self centered, mean spirited little man with whom the GOP is well pleased. He has given them, even before Covid 19, all the smoke they need to destroy this country and it’s institutions and it’s people.

    Right wing commenters Fire away. The truth is the truth. Call names, sell books whatever helps you cope but he is the antithesis of what the founders envisioned. He is a disaster.

    Stay safe out there. Wash your hands this “hoax” can kill you.

    1. Read your own comment.

      “He’s a self centered, mean spirited little man”

      “Call names, sell books whatever helps you cope…”

      Here we have a textbook example of the Trump Derangement Syndrome. This disease is incurable. We are praying for you.

  10. Speaking of the pandemic, here is a link to a 1915 book by Jack London, called The Scarlett Plague. He writes about a plague starting in 2013, and told by an old man 60 years later in 2073ish. It is great, and a fairly short read. Very topical to today, and it tracks well with how the CV got spread.


    You can get it on Kindle for 99 cents, and there is one version with illustrations. It took me maybe an hour more or less to read it.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  11. Prior to the Civil War I would have said your argument was solid. Now, I have to give it to The Donald. He can emasculate a state just by withholding their federal funds.

  12. I think the 10th Amendment is very important to protect the people of the states and their right to assert nullification over federal diktats (see Thomas Woods). However, while I am not like the Trumpbots in previous comments who believe in Trump’s supreme authority as President (but not Obama or other Democrats), I think that whatever the federal government can do to liberate the people of the states from their fascists governors’ criminal false imprisonment orders, all the better!

  13. What I notice about the comments is that there is a lack of agreement on “the facts.” Most of this is attributable to the constant, and ultimately pretty annoying, partisan deadlock, wherein opinions supersede fact and reason. This broken record has brought us to very scary times. It would be wonderful to see reason emerge from such an esteem community as is represented by the followers of Turley.

    I agree with semcgowanjr: governors seem to have left any CDC guidelines in the dust, almost immediately, and jumped gleefully into martial law. I doubt that was the intention of the Constitution.

    The CDC initially told us to wash our hands, and treat this much the same as the flu. But those recommendations became “orders” from governors, mayors, and police. The CDC recommended against masks, until they were somehow coerced to reluctantly say that masks were better the nothing. Again, it is now a city ordinance where I live, and you will be strong-armed by cops if you are caught on the bus without the stupidest makeshift mask imaginable.

    The thing about leadership is, the leaders need to be reliable – and they are not, at least not in our poor country. I would actually give Trump more credit that not, for sticking to the CDC guidelines – his famous “I choose not to wear one”, when delivering the mask update.

    To say that Trump is completely unfamiliar with the Constitution, Constitutional law, or any kind of law, is not very useful. I mean, I guess we all know that he is not a lawyer, has not political science background whatsoever. Neither is news to say that he is mercurial in his moods and in his statements.

    1. Prince, Trump has no relevant experience whatsoever. And that’s what’s driving this crisis.

      1. Anonymous,
        Do you need to be reminded that no one, including the world’s most trusted health agencies, have “no relevant experience” about the Wuhan virus.
        Thus, what is your point, other than dislike for this President?

        1. Justice, Governors get experience managing crises. Generals get experience managing crises. Secretary’s of State get experience managing international crises. But actors in Reality Shows get no experience whatsoever in managing disasters. And one could have said this with certainty 4 years ago when an actor of Reality TV ran for president.

      2. He’s got three plus years more experience at being POTUS than Joe biden does. So if experience matters, the choice is clear.

        1. As if he’s either learned or accomplished ANYTHING, A tax cut primarily benefiting his grifter family and their pals and that all our kids will pay for. That’s it. No wall, no medical plan, higher consumer prices on tariff products, a bigger trade deficit then when he came into office, damaged relations with allies, get taken for a ride by the midget dictator, get Iran re-started on nuclear production, screw the Kurds and almost get thrown out of Iraq, Syria still a cluster F, Saudia Arabia running amuck, and failure at leadership during the virus crisis which is crashing the 10 year growth economy.

      3. Hey, Dufus, please cite the country or entity that has the definitive response to this hoax.

        You would blame “W” for not preventing 9/11.

        It’s often difficult for humans to see the future until their glasses correct to 20/20 hindsight.

        I thought your boy, Fauci, whom Trump inherited, was on the case. Why did he tell Trump and America to not worry and not change anything they’re doing on 2/29/20?

        You see, the democrats created this situation to be insoluble.

        “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

        – Rahm Emanuel

        The inverse is to create a crisis precisely to accomplish “thing you could not do before” which is what the communist DNC did in collusion with its communist Chinese allies.

  14. Great article! Goes to show yet again how inspired our constitutional republic is.

  15. The states do not get to violate our constitutional rights. Don’t forget that New York and California are essentially under martial law, all because of the chimeravirus hysteria and their desire to shut down the economy in an attempt to put this country into a depression. Newsom and Cuomo are following the Chicom model in dealing with this crisis.

    This refusal to reopen the country could very well be an attempt at an unconstitutional and illegal power grab. And if Congress and the president do nothing to block this, who will?

    Don’t forget, FEMA and the National Emergencies Act still exist. And some of the haters in political office don’t like the fact that the president can put both to good use.

      1. Just like most Socialists, your comments are not intended to enlighten, but just to besmirch, shame and shut down conversations.

        You sound like a bot.

        1. Shhhhhhh. Do not feed the animals…or the virally challenged.

          When you lie down with sock puppet troll Peter Seth John Enoch Paintchips, you get worse than fleas….cray cray

  16. Trump is doing what he has to since the DEM’s refuse to work with him. The DEM’s are only interested in funding voter fraud, museums, arts, abortion clinics and etc. Therefore Trump has to take the Bull by the horns and lead, while MSM, DEM’s offer only resistance.

    Also, DEM governors, for the most part, seem to trying to be more severe in their lockdowns and abuse of people rights.

    TIME to take our country back from the LEFT and MSM

  17. Once again, this is a time of national emergency and under the National Emergency statute, the president has supreme powers (which he has over the Executive Branch anyway,) There are a lot of things he could do, such as quarantining the entire country and not allowing travel between states. The Constitution was NOT written to cover abnormal times, but normal times. Incidentally, it’s mostly judges and governors, all Democrats, who have shut down the country, not the White House.

    1. “The Constitution was NOT written to cover abnormal times, but normal times.”

      That’s a ridiculously ignorant statement. The Constitution was written to cover all times. It was written in the immediate aftermath of a revolution. It even provides for the power to detain citizens and deny them habeas corpus in extreme cases. The US Constitution is incredibly short and easy to read. Give it a try.
      Each individual State also has it’s own State Constitution that defines the powers of government and the rights of it’s citizens.

      Of course, leaders often attempt to over-step their powers. Usually they are kept in check by the part of the population that are not sheep. Mr. Lincoln got away with his power grab for years until justice finally caught up with him.

  18. “Federalism is a strength, not a weakness,”

    That is absolutely true. Turley should pay more attention to deed than action. The states have been excessively reliant on the Federal Government. Trump has been advocating Federalism and pushing States to act in the fashion they are supposed to act.

    My guess is that some States, Probably Democratic, were thinking poitically in a way that would inhibit opening up America with political shenanigans prompting Presidential actions they could later complain about. Just think about the Travel Ban and how Democrats acted against it for political reasons only to later make believe they would have done it sooner.

    Trump approves of tremendous leeway and has demonstrated his ability to deal with the States and help provide those States with resources they should have had to begin with. I think he made his comment to shut down any such thoughts of political sabotage.

    I don’t know why Turley focuses on words when he already knows the President’s exact wording isn’t legal wording rather a broader type of wording where what he is saying is essentially correct even though in the legal sense even Trump doesn’t agree.

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