SO MANY BILLS – PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES OF EMERGENCY POWERS
We’ve been talking a lot about emergency powers since 2020. This year we’ve seen the Agenda 2030 threat to our water and to our local land. It’s starting to become second nature to see immediately when something is a violation of constitutional emergency authority.
There is a clear pattern that somebody, somewhere, is planning for more future emergencies of some kind.
Now comes the new threat to our local food supply production, SB300. Just introduced into the legislature a few days ago. With a simple modification it could actually be changed into a protection instead of a threat.
We have a call to action for our readers (you can skip to the bottom if you like) but we should really explain this one to you guys. We are not calling to kill this bill, we are calling to FIX this bill.
A SERIOUS CONTRADICTION
The curious thing about this bill is that it does some bad things, then contradicts itself by making illegal the very things it’s doing… All in the same bill!
Since we’ve already been pushing back so effectively on emergency power abuse, perhaps someone is trying to get ahead of our arguments?
Let’s break this down.
First, the emergency powers clause of the Utah constitution is clear that emergencies do not allow the government to do anything that they couldn’t already do in a non-emergency. This concept alone is all anyone needs to know.
Here’s bad things we don’t like in the bill:
1) Control of food production during a state of emergency
– This title is immediately a problem.
No part of the state constitution authorizes controlling food production. In fact, the right to life and property in Art 1 Sec 1 prohibit this.
2) … may impose a restriction controlling the production, processing, distribution, or sale price of local food
– Clear violation of the state constitution, because you can’t do that in a non-emergency.
3) Implying the power for any executive agency to make rules that limit the food supply up to 50%.
– Clear violation of the state constitution, because you can’t do that in a non-emergency.
–> 50% of our food supply? If we were in an emergency, don’t we need food more than ever? What in the world are they thinking? <–
If the bill were to stop there I’d immediately call for killing this bill. And then if it were to pass, how do you fix an unconstitutional law? Nullification.
So if it were to pass in this form, I’d call for nullifying the bill in cities and counties by passing local ordinances that would enforce the state constitution. The language for cities might be…
any law or rule passed by any branch of the state of Utah may not violate the Constitution of the United States or the Utah Constitution…
Cities and counties would then be more empowered to instruct their police departments and sheriffs to enforce the protection of their local food supply against anyone attempting to enforce the illegal laws on their citizens (Note: to be clear, if they’re standing on the constitution, they could also do this without a city ordinance).
Sometimes nullification could be called a “statement of the obvious”. Even though the statement should be obvious, in our modern world of legal ignorance people sometimes need a second law to restate what the constitution already says before they are brave enough to believe it (funny how much of law ends up being based on belief).
So if the above language would be a nullification of the bad parts of SB300? What in the world is going on in section (3) where it says:
a restriction imposed under this section may not violate the Constitution of the United States or the Utah Constitution
The bill is literally nullifying itself. It authorizes (illegally) multiple violations of the constitution, and then says it’s illegal for any restriction to violate the constitution.
RESEARCHING WHAT’S GOING ON
Defending Utah forwarded our concerns to those working on this bill. And what we heard back from “the other side” was as follows:
“The Dept of Agriculture already has rule-making authority over individual ranch or farm operations”
“The 50% is a threshold meant to preserve existing statutory rulemaking but to prevent expansion of that power into widescale directives.”
“It’s a tough, complicated issue.”
“…if the EPA claims jurisdiction over all water in the state and then the EPA declares that chemical fertilizer is a water pollutant affecting health & safety…” (etc.)
So what they’re saying is that there’s already bad stuff happening in the executive branch at the state and federal level. This is the simplest problem to solve from a constitutional perspective. Can we find any constitutional power allowing the executive agencies to control our food supply, interfere with private sales (right to contract) or to restrict the use of our properties? The answer is no. And what’s the proper remedy in this case? You guessed it… Nullification.
Not only is there no power authorizing the control of the food supply, but Utah’s constitution prohibits it right in the very beginning of the document in Article 1 Section 1.
All persons have the inherent and inalienable right to enjoy and defend their lives and liberties; to acquire, possess and protect property;
If the government interferes with your private farm without real constitutional due process then you have every right to “defend [your] lives and liberties” and to “protect property“.
VERY BAD CONSEQUENCES
When an executive agency is doing something against the constitution, and then lawmakers put into law that they’re allowed to do that illegal thing, it’s still illegal because the constitution is supreme over legislation. But you now give a stronger delusion to bureaucrats and tyrants that the previously illegal thing must now be legal. This is a very bad thing for Utahans, and nobody representing the people should allow this to happen.
THIS IS AN EASY FIX
The claim by those working on the bill is that this bill protects people from bad things that are already happening, right? If that’s truly the goal then we can easily make sure that it does *only* that. We must insist that the re-statement of illegal behavior is not left in this bill, but instead we only leave the nullification of section (3). We don’t have to authorize illegal behavior in order to protect the constitution. It’s totally possible to only do the good thing.
SB300 is still in the early phases, but it might be rushed through this week like many other bills as the legislative session ends this week.
1. Email, text or call the bill sponsor, Senator Ronald Winterton. (email@example.com)
2. Email, text or call your personal representatives, by searching for them here: www.DefendingUtah.org/ContactYourRep
3. Motivated? Monitor the bill status and attend the committee hearings to share your comments live in person or over Zoom.
Sample email to copy and paste (modify to you liking).
Dear Representative [_______],
I am seriously concerned that SB300 must be modified or killed if it’s not modified. If modified correctly then it could be a huge victory for everyone.
I recognize this bill has a line to defend the constitution by insisting the constitution may not be violated. However at the same time the bill contradicts itself by authorizing unconstitutional things. If the goal is to protect local food production from government overreach, then please modify the bill to only include the constitutional enforcement, and then this bill would be a victory for the people of Utah.
There is no need to attempt to re-authorize the existing unconstitutional behavior of executive agencies in order to include language that protects Utahn’s from such overreach. This creates the appearance of legalizing existing illegal behavior.
Please review these two relevant constitutional lines:
Art 1 Sec 1 of the Utah Constitution states “All persons have the inherent and inalienable right to enjoy and defend their lives and liberties; to acquire, possess and protect property;”
This tells us that during all times, emergency or non-emergency, governments of Utah may not restrict our ability to farm on our own land, using our own property and selling in private agreements (contracts) with others, and if they do we have the right to defend ourselves.
Art VI Sec 30 of the Utah Constitution states that emergency powers do “not permit these temporary measures to be contrary to the Constitution”.
This tells us that in all things, if the government can’t do it during non-emergencies then they can’t do it during emergencies.
Thank you for taking this seriously.
Whack a mole. We will once again whack down an unconstitutional bill; or in this case, it is so bad as to likely whack itself. It is crazy to continue addressing this legislature’s lack of knowledge and respect for our Constitutions, both State and Federal. It is just common sense that if you are swearing an Oath to something, it is only responsible behavior that you understand the subject of the Oath. That especially because there can be legal consequences for the violation of that Oath. This cavalier treatment of our founding documents needs stopped. I propose the filing of charges for violations of the Oaths of Office of every fool legislator who makes it a practice to minimize that which he swears to God and the Constitution not to do. God, may ultimately punish him or her, but God does not have to live with this legislative abuse in the meantime.
I believe your link to find your reps is not working.
Just tested the link and it went right to the page.
I clicked the link on that page, and it went right to the zip code tool as expected.
If you need help, please send a message on the contact us page with an explanation of the error you’re getting, we’ll help you figure it out. https://www.defendingutah.org/contact/
Thank you for all the work you do Enoch Moore! Highly appreciate your efforts in this endeavor! Thank you for shining a light on either the lack of knowledge, follies or any direct assault on our US Constitution and our Utah State Constitution! We all must remain vigilant and not be complacent. We must constantly keep government’s feet to the fire and you are definitely a patriotic mainstay in doing so. Thank you again for Defending our beloved Utah and for defending the rule of law!