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Vox Is Missing The Point About Having A Constitution



Not that we should be all that surprised by this from the progressives at Vox. No government- well, no one not controlled by Trump or KKK Amerikka – would ever do something that was, overall, harmful now, would they? Any bureaucratic or political decision and insistence is only, ever, entirely appropriate and necessary:

The decisions in Branch and Florida, moreover, are part of a wave of decisions — mostly handed down by Republican appointees or by judges who ran for election as conservatives — that could permanently hobble the government’s ability to address future public health crises.

Except that’s the very point of our having a constitution. Or, as we Brits don’t, having even the concepts of human rights or civil liberties. There are some things the government cannot do to us. Even under the grandest of pressures.

Or even, there’s a gradation in these things. In the middle of the Zombie Apocalypse then the rules on, say, warrantless searches are going to be a little more relaxed than they are when it’s only the ATF hunting single cigarettes. If the outbreak was of smallpox and no one under the age of 40 had been vaccinated (which might actually be true, that last) then the court’s likely to rule the other way:

The first court decision, written by a Donald Trump appointee to the United States Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, imposes strict limits on California’s ability to close down in-person instruction at private schools. Judge Daniel Collins’s opinion in Branch v. Newsom claims that such restrictions run afoul of parents’ rights “to direct the upbringing and education of children under their control.”

This being the point of constitutions and thus bills of rights and ECHR and all that. To detail what governments are not able to do to us.

The US Supreme Court also imposed tight restrictions on many state and federal public health agencies. Shortly after Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation gave conservatives a 6-3 supermajority, the Court started handing down decisions preventing state governments from limiting in-person gatherings at churches and other houses of worship.

Late last month, the Supreme Court decided to let a federal eviction moratorium — which was enacted to prevent people kicked out of them homes from spreading Covid-19 — to remain in effect until it expires at the end of July. But Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote a brief opinion suggesting that the CDC may never impose such a moratorium again under existing federal laws.

Government isn’t allowed to stop religion. And they’ve not actually said that government can’t stop evictions. What they’ve said is that the public health authorities aren’t allowed to. If Congress were to pass a law, or the President to announce martial law, then sure, such things might well be allowed. But the folks whose task is to monitor measles outbreaks? Not so much.

That is, the entire complaint here is one of entirely missing the point. Which is that the entire system is built in an attempt to limit government power. Thus restrictions upon government power aren’t mistakes, are they?



  1. Disclaimer: I am a strict constitutionalist.

    The Constitution was the result of two things; the recent hard treatment by the British, and the structural weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. It was designed to make changes difficult by requiring broad support across both the States and the populace. It is a contract with the people about which things government may do. The writers were very afraid of the tyranny of the majority, so many things require a supermajority to accomplish.

    This has the progressives foaming at the mouth, because the radical change they advocate cannot be accomplished. They do not have the broad support of the people or the States. So they are frustrated that the cannot move faster to present a fait accompli of Socialism.

    Take heart, the Constitution is working as designed.


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in British English
expunct (ɪkˈspʌŋkt)
VERB (transitive)
1. to delete or erase; blot out; obliterate
2. to wipe out or destroy

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