This Pandemic and The Ridiculous Debate of Constitutionality

tenth amendment2

Pulling My Hair Out (Almost)

I can’t take it anymore. If I hear one more idiot or ignorant MAGA supporter scream about the “unconstitutionality” of COVID quarantines, wearing of masks, closing of businesses, etc. in protection of the people, I’m gonna scream. I’ve tried on several occasions, unsuccessfully, to explain to some folks that nothing about how this pandemic is being handled by both state and federal governments is unconstitutional.

I’m not a lawyer or a legal expert but let me try to elaborate:

the tenth amendment says it all

First and foremost, public health falls under police powers of each of the states. It was written into our federal constitution in the Tenth Amendment, in our Bill of Rights:

“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, “the Tenth Amendment reserves to the states all powers that are not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, except for those powers that states are constitutionally forbidden from exercising.” (The Free Dictionary)

Nowhere in the federal constitution does Congress have the authority to regulate any local matters (individual states) in regards to health and safety. 

With isolation and/or quarantine, however, that falls within the purview of the U.S. Surgeon General (with permission from the Health and Human Services Secretary):

isolation and quarantine

Source: https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/public-health-chart.aspx

Police powers were reserved by the federal constitution for states to use when it was necessary to preserve the common good. States are constitutionally allowed to pass and enforce the following: “isolation, quarantine, health, and inspections laws to interrupt or prevent the spread of disease.” (See source referral above.)

So that’s it in a constitutional nutshell. While people in other countries are plodding along in survival mode without all the whining and griping, Americans continue to piss and moan about individual freedoms being more important than the health of our communities.

Only healthy individuals can make up a healthy community. This is but a short-term sacrifice for long-term success. Viruses have been around longer than man and will be here when we’re gone. In the meantime, let’s make a promise to ourselves, our families, our communities: to do whatever is necessary to get us past this pandemic darkness to the light at the end of the tunnel.

#staysafe #coronavirus #tenthamendment #billofrights #publichealth #livestrong