Logo

We Have Rights

| Opinion | April 23, 2020

by Nicholas Dwork

In 1798, the federal government passed the Sedition Act, making public dissent of the government illegal.  This act violated the constitutional right to free speech. During World War II, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the federal government incarcerated innocent Japanese Americans.  Both of these violations were done in a time of emergency. Both were huge regrettable mistakes. I had hoped that we in the United States, had become wise enough to avoid such mistakes again.  But, in the spirit of Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel who said “Never let a crisis go to waste,” our governments are once again taking advantage of an emergency to seize more control.  They are forgoing respect for our rights in the name of safety and security.

Governors of several states have imposed state-wide house arrest, euphemistically called “shelter-in-place”. This violates our constitutional right to move freely, codified in Corfield v. Coryell as part of the Privileges and Immunities Clause.  Several governors, including Governor Newsom of California, have banned large gatherings. This violates our right to peaceably assemble specified in Article I of the Bill of Rights.

In New Jersey, 15 men disobeyed the shelter-in-place order to congregate at a synagogue.  They were arrested and fined. This violates our right to worship freely specified in Article I of the Bill of Rights. When asked under what authority he nullified the Bill of Rights, Governor Phil Murphy responded, “I wasn’t thinking of the Bill of Rights when I did this.”  He could not provide a legal authority for his order.

California, prior to the arrival of COVID-19, had already instituted a state-wide rent control law.  In the last few weeks, Governor Newsom instituted a moratorium on evictions. Now, Bill AB 828 would force a 25 percent reduction in rents.  So, in California, a landlord must pay a fee in perpetuity for having the property, the state decides how much can be charged for rent (and can reduce the rent at any time), the state decides when contracts regarding the property can be enforced, and the state controls how rents can be collected.  This is the government taking control of an individual’s property. And since the government has not provided just compensation, it is in violation of article V of the Bill of Rights. The more wide-spread act of shutting down companies by decree is a violation in the same vein.

Advertisment

Apple and Google will soon put contact tracing software on all of our cell phones.  This software will record and notify the state governments of our movements. This is an unreasonable seizure of our property in violation of article IV of the Bill of Rights.

The examples are seemingly endless.  The first stimulus bill passed through congress without a recorded vote.  President Trump has threatened to disband congress. The proposed Earn It Act makes encrypted communications illegal.  The Federal government is purchasing ownership stakes in large companies. The Federal Reserve has begun purchasing junk bonds.  The New York mint has shut down production of gold coins.

Our governments can suggest and encourage desirable action.  Given the choices in my life, I would choose to stay at home as much as possible.  Our rights, though, are a constraint. Our governments must do the best they can to ensure our lives, liberty, and pursuits of happiness without violating the laws that make ours the land of the free.  If our rights can be disbanded by decree, then their existence is a mere illusion to pacify us.

Nicholas Dwork was born and raised in Santa Clarita.  He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in Electrical Engineering and is now a post-doctoral scholar in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering at UCSF.

No Tags

  

About Newsroom

Santa Clarita Gazette and Free Classifieds is a locally owned weekly publication. Each week you will find news, opinion, sports and more plus over 200 classified ads online and in print! Each week’s issue is printed and distributed on Thursdays and Fridays, the full edition is also here on the web site on Thursdays as a page flip. All of the articles and classified ads are online and display ads are printed and appear on various pages of the web site to correspond with the print ad.

10 Responses to “We Have Rights”

  1. Steven Goldstein on April 24, 2020 @ 9:14 am

    The court case cited by this author is way off from his argument, the case of Corfield v. Coryell was about this:

    “In it, he upheld a New Jersey regulation forbidding non-residents from gathering oysters and clams against a challenge that New Jersey’s law violated the Article IV Privileges and Immunities Clause and that the New Jersey law regulated interstate commerce in violation of the Commerce Clause.”

    It also said:

    “Protection by the government; the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the right to acquire and possess property of every kind, and to pursue and obtain happiness and SAFETY; subject nevertheless to such restraints as the government may justly prescribe for the general good of the whole.”

    Thus this situation with COVID 19 is NOT a violation of this case precedence. You have a right to your opinion, but it may not be based on the real history.

    As far as landlords paying a fee, they are part of a system where they do have the Ellis Act to remedy the problem. They are not FORCED to be in business. Unless they cannot seek any other means of making a living. This is not a FEE at all, but simply an emergency rule to deal with the prevention of mass homelessness because at this time as much as 10% of the workers of California have lost their jobs by no fault of their own.

    I hope the readers of this publication will seek out more information and not simply base their beliefs on just one person’s point of view. That’s all I ask?

    • The freedom of movement was indeed codified in that case. See here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_movement_under_United_States_law) or here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_movement#United_States) or here (https://repository.law.miami.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1324&context=umlr). In its decision, SCOTUS says, ” all citizens of the United States, and, as members of the same community must have the right to pass and repass through every part of it.”

      The rest of your argument is completely totalitarian. Summarizing your statement: Landlords are not forced to own their property therefore we can take their property or impose any controls upon it. This is clearly non-sensical.

      The fee I was referring to was property taxes, which is always imposed.

      Your argument does not hold water.

      • Steven Goldstein on April 25, 2020 @ 5:30 pm

        In response to Nicholas Dwork on April 24, 2020 @ 6:10 pm you said:

        “The freedom of movement was indeed codified in that case. See here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_movement_under_United_States_law) or here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_movement#United_States)”

        Wikipedia is NOT a primary source to rely upon, it is not even peer reviewed regarding attorneys. So you are not looking at the right information. As far as:

        “or here (https://repository.law.miami.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1324&context=umlr).”

        That is nothing but an INTERNAL laws school article. It was NOT published by any PEER reviewed group. This is not even on topic because the Governors nor the President have not even approached the idea of criminalizing movement across state lines. Thus as a matter of the 10th amendment, Governors DO have the power to enforce stay at home for their citizens internally, they have not even tried to impair interstate action. As far as your statement:

        “In its decision, SCOTUS says, ” all citizens of the United States, and, as members of the same community must have the right to pass and repass through every part of it.”

        That was written by a dissenting Judge in the case of RITA L. SAENZ, DIRECTOR, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, et al., PETITIONERS v. BRENDA ROE and ANNA DOE etc. ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT found here (https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/98-97.ZD.html specifically the quote said:

        “AS CHIEF JUSTICE TANEY STATED IN HIS DISSENT IN THE PASSENGER CASES, 7 HOW. 283 (1849):

        “WE ARE ALL CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES; AND, AS MEMBERS OF THE SAME COMMUNITY, MUST HAVE THE RIGHT TO PASS AND REPASS THROUGH EVERY PART OF IT WITHOUT INTERRUPTION, AS FREELY AS IN OUR OWN STATES. And a tax imposed by a State for entering its territories or harbours is inconsistent with the rights which belong to the citizens of other States as members of the Union, and with the objects which that Union was intended to attain. Such a power in the States could produce nothing but discord and mutual irritation, and they very clearly do not possess it.” Id., at 492.”

        It looks like you are trying to use this quote WAY out of context. I understand it seems very easy to assume that this quote was part of a majority decision, but it was not, and in that case it was clearly a minority opinion. So when you said:

        “THAT is accurate regarding passage between states. “

        It appears I have proven that your claims were not based on an accurate history. You said:

        “The rest of your argument is completely totalitarian. Summarizing your statement: Landlords are not forced to own their property therefore we can take their property or impose any controls upon it. This is clearly non-sensical.”

        You are simply trying to use diversion or transference to avoid the truth. My statement was not “totalitarian” in any way. Actually the U.S. Constitution does allow the market regulations, especially under circumstances like this. You have the opinion that it is “non-sensical” but it does not mean that you are the authority to determine that. So far there are many U.S. Supreme Court cases that prove my research. Please read the case of Birkenfeld v. City of Berkeley Annotate this Case [S.F. No. 23370. Supreme Court of California. June 16, 1976.] found here (https://law.justia.com/cases/california/supreme-court/3d/17/129.html ) You said:

        “The fee I was referring to was property taxes, which is always imposed.”

        OK, so you’re not even discussing market regulations. Fine you said:

        “Your argument does not hold water.”

        So far your information proves to not be accurate or are from sources that are not reliable First Level Research Reporting

        Reply

        • There are a multitude of resources available summarizing the Supreme Court’s decision of Corfield v. Coryell. Here is another: https://constitutionallawreporter.com/2015/09/28/historical-corfield-v-coryell-the-privileges-and-immunities-clause/

          As they all describe, in the majority opinion, justice Washington states that a non-exhaustive list of rights established by the Privileges and Immunities Clause includes “The right of a citizen of one State to pass through, or to reside in any other State, for purposes of trade, agriculture, professional pursuits, or otherwise.”

          You have shown yourself to be an idealogue who is more interested in forwarding an agenda with non-sensical arguments regardless of the facts involved. Since you are not interested in having a meaningful dialogue, I will no longer respond to your many illogical comments.

          • Steven Goldstein on April 27, 2020 @ 6:25 pm

            In response to Your claim that:

            “There are a multitude of resources available summarizing the Supreme Court’s decision of Corfield v. Coryell. Here is another: https://constitutionallawreporter.com/2015/09/28/historical-corfield-v-coryell-the-privileges-and-immunities-clause/”

            You ARE NOT quoting any legal JOURNAL or REPORTER, but repeting a document published in a private lawyers website. AGAIN it is NOT legally PEER reviewed research. It olny reports awards from the organizations not affiliate with the American Bar Association, but what is called “NEW MEDIA’ and a “LEGAL BLOG AWARD NOMINA” not an actual winner. Maybe you are just trying to promote an argument that hasn’t even been validated yet? You said:

            “As they all describe, in the majority opinion, justice Washington states that a non-exhaustive list of rights established by the Privileges and Immunities Clause includes “The right of a citizen of one State to pass through, or to reside in any other State, for purposes of trade, agriculture, professional pursuits, or otherwise.”

            You in fact are even misquoting the page, here is the undeditied text:

            “As stated by Justice Washington, the CENTRAL ISSUE IN THE CASE WAS HOW TO DEFINE the “privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.” In the court’s opinion, the protection afforded by the Constitution extends only to fundamental rights.

            So far that statement is not what you claimed, here it hoes further:

            ““We feel no hesitation in confining these expressions to those privileges and immunities which are, in their nature, fundamental; which belong, of right, to the citizens of all free governments; and which have, at all times, been enjoyed by the citizens of the several States which compose this Union,” Justice Washington’s opinion explains.”

            That doeswn’t actually address the claim you mad at this point it goes further to say:

            “While Justice Washington acknowledged that it would be too tedious to list all of the fundamental rights, he provided the following list:

            “Protection by the Government; the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the right to acquire and possess property of every kind, and to pursue and obtain happiness and safety; subject nevertheless to such restraints as the Government must justly prescribe for the general good of the whole. The right of a citizen of one State to pass through, or to reside in any other State, for purposes of trade, agriculture, professional pursuits, or otherwise; to claim the benefits of the writ of habeas corpus; to institute and maintain actions of any kind in the courts of the State; to take, hold and dispose of property, either real or personal; and an exemption from higher taxes or impositions than are paid by the other citizens of the State…”

            OK, that gives some measure of that the case was discussing these rights. But it is not a definitive decision until you get to this part:

            “With regard to specific issues of the case, the court held that the State of New Jersey WAS NOT REQUIRED TO GRANT “CO-TENANCY IN THE COMMON PROPERTY OF THE STATE, TO THE CITIZENS OF ALL THE OTHER STATES.” Accordingly, IT FOUND THE STATE STATUTE WAS CONSTITUTIONAL. IN HIGHLIGHTING THE BOUNDARIES OF THE PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES CLAUSE, JUSTICE WASHINGTON WROTE:

            WE CANNOT ACCEDE TO THE PROPOSITION . . . THAT, UNDER THIS PROVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION, THE CITIZENS OF THE SEVERAL STATES ARE PERMITTED TO PARTICIPATE IN ALL THE RIGHTS WHICH BELONG EXCLUSIVELY TO THE CITIZENS OF ANY PARTICULAR STATE, MERELY UPON THE GROUND THAT THEY ARE ENJOYED BY THOSE CITIZENS; MUCH LESS, THAT IN REGULATING THE USE OF THE COMMON PROPERTY OF THE CITIZENS OF SUCH STATE, THE LEGISLATURE IS BOUND TO EXTEND TO THE CITIZENS OF ALL OTHER STATES THE SAME ADVANTAGES AS ARE SECURED TO THEIR OWN CITIZENS.”

            WELL, this page seems to undercut your claims regarding your original claim which was:

            “As they all describe, in the majority opinion, justice Washington states that a non-exhaustive list of rights established by the Privileges and Immunities Clause includes “The right of a citizen of one State to pass through, or to reside in any other State, for purposes of trade, agriculture, professional pursuits, or otherwise.”

            This almost looks like an attempt to make false claims to the public via intentional misrepresentation. Of course you are at the minimum ANNOYED because you are getting FACT CHECKED and the FACTS are not what you claim. Thus you attack me personally by saying:

            “You have shown yourself to be an idealogue who is more interested in forwarding an agenda with non-sensical arguments regardless of the facts involved. Since you are not interested in having a meaningful dialogue, I will no longer respond to your many illogical comments.”

            I am a Certified Information Systems Security Professional by profession via accountability to the International Information System Security Certification Consortiun. It REQUIRES me to conduct myself to high standards. My expertise is in Business Continuity Planning. I also have 2 Business Administration Degrees in Human Resources and Information Systems.

            So you can personally attack me as much as you want, but it does not change the FACTS that you misrepresented to the public here

      • Steven Goldstein on April 25, 2020 @ 6:14 pm

        In response to Nicholas Dwork on April 24, 2020 @ 6:10 pm you said:

        “The freedom of movement was indeed codified in that case. See here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_movement_under_United_States_law) or here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_movement#United_States)”

        Wikipedia is NOT a primary source to rely upon, it is not even peer reviewed regarding attorneys. So you are not looking at the right information. As far as:

        “or here (https://repository.law.miami.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1324&context=umlr).”

        That is nothing but an INTERNAL laws school article. It was NOT published by any PEER reviewed group. This is not even on topic because the Governors nor the President have not even approached the idea of criminalizing movement across state lines. Thus as a matter of the 10th amendment, Governors DO have the power to enforce stay at home for their citizens internally, they have not even tried to impair interstate action. As far as your statement:

        “In its decision, SCOTUS says, ” all citizens of the United States, and, as members of the same community must have the right to pass and repass through every part of it.”

        That was written by a dissenting Judge in the case of RITA L. SAENZ, DIRECTOR, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, et al., PETITIONERS v. BRENDA ROE and ANNA DOE etc. ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT found here (https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/98-97.ZD.html specifically the quote said:

        “AS CHIEF JUSTICE TANEY STATED IN HIS DISSENT IN THE PASSENGER CASES, 7 HOW. 283 (1849):

        “WE ARE ALL CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES; AND, AS MEMBERS OF THE SAME COMMUNITY, MUST HAVE THE RIGHT TO PASS AND REPASS THROUGH EVERY PART OF IT WITHOUT INTERRUPTION, AS FREELY AS IN OUR OWN STATES. And a tax imposed by a State for entering its territories or harbours is inconsistent with the rights which belong to the citizens of other States as members of the Union, and with the objects which that Union was intended to attain. Such a power in the States could produce nothing but discord and mutual irritation, and they very clearly do not possess it.” Id., at 492.”

        It looks like you are trying to use this quote WAY out of context. I understand it seems very easy to assume that this quote was part of a majority decision, but it was not, and in that case it was clearly a minority opinion. So when you said:

        “THAT is accurate regarding passage between states. “

        It appears I have proven that your claims were not based on an accurate history. You said:

        “The rest of your argument is completely totalitarian. Summarizing your statement: Landlords are not forced to own their property therefore we can take their property or impose any controls upon it. This is clearly non-sensical.”

        You are simply trying to use diversion or transference to avoid the truth. My statement was not “totalitarian” in any way. Actually the U.S. Constitution does allow the market regulations, especially under circumstances like this. You have the opinion that it is “non-sensical” but it does not mean that you are the authority to determine that. So far there are many U.S. Supreme Court cases that prove my research. Please read the case of Birkenfeld v. City of Berkeley Annotate this Case [S.F. No. 23370. Supreme Court of California. June 16, 1976.] found here (https://law.justia.com/cases/california/supreme-court/3d/17/129.html ) You said:

        “The fee I was referring to was property taxes, which is always imposed.”

        OK, so you’re not even discussing market regulations. Fine you said:

        “Your argument does not hold water.”

        So far your information proves to not be accurate or are from sources that are not reliable First Level Research Reporting

  2. Steven Goldstein on April 25, 2020 @ 5:31 pm

    In response to Nicholas Dwork on April 24, 2020 @ 6:10 pm you said:

    “The freedom of movement was indeed codified in that case. See here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_movement_under_United_States_law) or here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_movement#United_States)”

    Wikipedia is NOT a primary source to rely upon, it is not even peer reviewed regarding attorneys. So you are not looking at the right information. As far as:

    “or here (https://repository.law.miami.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1324&context=umlr).”

    That is nothing but an INTERNAL laws school article. It was NOT published by any PEER reviewed group. This is not even on topic because the Governors nor the President have not even approached the idea of criminalizing movement across state lines. Thus as a matter of the 10th amendment, Governors DO have the power to enforce stay at home for their citizens internally, they have not even tried to impair interstate action. As far as your statement:

    “In its decision, SCOTUS says, ” all citizens of the United States, and, as members of the same community must have the right to pass and repass through every part of it.”

    That was written by a dissenting Judge in the case of RITA L. SAENZ, DIRECTOR, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, et al., PETITIONERS v. BRENDA ROE and ANNA DOE etc. ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT found here (https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/98-97.ZD.html specifically the quote said:

    “AS CHIEF JUSTICE TANEY STATED IN HIS DISSENT IN THE PASSENGER CASES, 7 HOW. 283 (1849):

    “WE ARE ALL CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES; AND, AS MEMBERS OF THE SAME COMMUNITY, MUST HAVE THE RIGHT TO PASS AND REPASS THROUGH EVERY PART OF IT WITHOUT INTERRUPTION, AS FREELY AS IN OUR OWN STATES. And a tax imposed by a State for entering its territories or harbours is inconsistent with the rights which belong to the citizens of other States as members of the Union, and with the objects which that Union was intended to attain. Such a power in the States could produce nothing but discord and mutual irritation, and they very clearly do not possess it.” Id., at 492.”

    It looks like you are trying to use this quote WAY out of context. I understand it seems very easy to assume that this quote was part of a majority decision, but it was not, and in that case it was clearly a minority opinion. So when you said:

    “THAT is accurate regarding passage between states. “

    It appears I have proven that your claims were not based on an accurate history. You said:

    “The rest of your argument is completely totalitarian. Summarizing your statement: Landlords are not forced to own their property therefore we can take their property or impose any controls upon it. This is clearly non-sensical.”

    You are simply trying to use diversion or transference to avoid the truth. My statement was not “totalitarian” in any way. Actually the U.S. Constitution does allow the market regulations, especially under circumstances like this. You have the opinion that it is “non-sensical” but it does not mean that you are the authority to determine that. So far there are many U.S. Supreme Court cases that prove my research. Please read the case of Birkenfeld v. City of Berkeley Annotate this Case [S.F. No. 23370. Supreme Court of California. June 16, 1976.] found here (https://law.justia.com/cases/california/supreme-court/3d/17/129.html ) You said:

    “The fee I was referring to was property taxes, which is always imposed.”

    OK, so you’re not even discussing market regulations. Fine you said:

    “Your argument does not hold water.”

    So far your information proves to not be accurate or are from sources that are not reliable First Level Research Reporting

    Reply

  3. Steven Goldstein on May 3, 2020 @ 1:17 am

    I find it interesting that Nicholas censors his blog on WordPress.com.

    Multiple posts I have written have been deleted.

    From one who would argue that the First Amendment is violated by this action is pretty clear.

    Nicholas wants his rights to free expression while preventing others from doing the same.

    Granted HE is not THE GOVERNMENT. BUT it would also appear he only wishes to promote those that agree with him, and not have an open discussion.

    There is discussion of formalizing a Blog Code of Conduct.

    I hope there will finally be one, we need some “law and order” on the blogsphere.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. We Have Rights – Nicholas Dwork's Blog
  2. Letter to Governor Newsom – Nicholas Dwork's Blog

Leave a Reply

Doug’s Rant – Video Edition

An error occurred:

The request cannot be completed because you have exceeded your quota.