In the US Constitution resides a clause basically making it illegal for the government of the US or any State to deny access to any citizens to any other state. This is called the “Privileges and Immunities Clause” (aka “Comity Clause”). The Constitution also contains the 14th Amendment, which will get to a bit later.
The clause states: No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities…
The Privileges and Immunities Clause as set forth in Article 4, Section 2 dictates that states may not prevent citizens from their basic rights according to that which is exhibited by civil rights statutes. In such a way, any discriminatory practices whatsoever are not tolerated. In order to be more specific, it states that citizens of all locales will be made eligible for the attainment of such outlined “privileges and immunities” set forth for all citizens.
Essentially, the Privileges and Immunities Clause prevents a state from treating citizens of other states in a discriminatory manner. Additionally, a right of interstate travel may plausibly be inferred from the clause (this is not limited to ‘interstate highways’ either, but may involve any mode of transportation, including bicycle, car, boat, airplane, bus, etc). The Privileges or Immunities Clause is Amendment XIV, Section 1, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution. Along with the rest of the Fourteenth Amendment, this clause became part of the Constitution on July 9, 1868. Text of the clause.
The Fourteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution reads:
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
The point here is clear, the states have no legal right to deny access to their state for any reason.
Except….. States DO have police power functions to protect the health, safety, and welfare of persons within their borders. To control the spread of disease within their borders, states have laws to enforce the use of isolation and quarantine. (Quarantine Laws)
What they can not do, is deny entry to a state based on claims of “stopping communicable diseases” based on “license plates on cars” such as Florida has attempted to do. (Florida I-95 shut down)
Of course, they can certainly (and they did) stop traffic entering the state at Georgia, and “take everyone’s temperature”. Which accomplished blocking up traffic for miles and miles. People trying to get home to Florida, or to their other residence (remember, a lot of people have more than one place to live and stay).
Gov. Ron DeSantis said the purpose of the new checkpoint on I-95 south is to check for people coming from the New York City area — where there were more than 33,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19, as of Sunday — and help slow the spread of the deadly virus in Florida.
“Initially I was concerned about doing this because I don’t want there to be a backup,” DeSantis said during a news conference Saturday. “But they’re doing it in a great way where the trucks are going through. We’re not worried about that. We’re just worried about the people fleeing some of those areas.”
We get it. They want to slow the passage of this disease. They don’t want to STOP it, but slow it. There’s almost no way to stop it now, based on the fact we didn’t close the airlines immediately. So, it’s going to be passed along.
We get it. We don’t want to over run medical abilities to mitigate this, or the number of beds, respirators needed and so forth.
But, common sense…. right?
Wrong. North Carolina’s Dare County, the Outer Banks, the place so many people love to go to see the beaches and ocean, is shut. It shut down in the middle of March. They blocked road accesses, and cruisers on boats (people who travel from place to place via boat) stated the “police were stopping boaters and turning them around” at first. It turns out they no authority to stop traffic in the Intracoastal Waterway (a Federal jurisdiction). Sailors/Cruisers, in general, when traveling are not exposed to diseases as easily as those who are coming in contact with their co-workers constantly, for instance. They tend to remain on their boats for days and weeks at a time. (Dare County)
More common sense? No.
On Oak Island, North Carolina, the Mayor, Ken Thomas has “decreed” a ban on the sale and possession of “dangerous weapons”, and that police will ticket people who “are non-residents” for going on the beach. “Some for me, none for thee” mentality? Yes. (Here is the ACTUAL statute, that the little island community MUST, but is not, following: (nc Enacted Legislation Chapter_166A/GS_166A-19.31.html)
The following links to the article int he Port City Daily news, a local paper in the area.
Local areas are, we understand, just simply attempting to protect human life. We get that. But, such restrictions on who can and can not “go to the beach” and “congregate” are discriminatory in the least, and against all manner of Constitutional right in the most. And the state law is SPECIFIC in what local governments can and can’t do. Oak Island and Dare County are BOTH going against those laws. (see the enacted legislation link above).
A fairly large number of people who live in the area of Southport, NC, Oak Island and St. James are people from New York, New Jersey and the New England states. The complaint on their local gossip site on Facebook have begun, complaining about the “New York Plates” and “Stay home” and similar remarks.
One man suggested “Blowing the bridges” (up) and blocking access. Others are taking pictures of license plates and posting them on the Internet.
So – what has this declared pandemic wrought? The kindergarten mentality of “tell on your neighbor”, “Big Brother” and “Let’s punish those we think are breaking a law”.
Classic Societal Breakdown has begun.
On the face of it, people want to protect themselves. They want to protect their families. We get it. We do too, but not at the risk of losing our society, our way of life, and our freedoms.
The access to those beaches and coastal areas are already limited by developers, and by ‘powerful people’ who want their ‘views un-compromised’ by anchored vessels near the waterway. Or by people parking to walk on the beach for an hour.
We have to question how someone walking on a beach is going to spread a virus in the sun shine and salt air. No, this is bigger, this is the mentality of “we don’t want to just protect our families, we want to deny access to anyone who isn’t from around here.”
This is precisely what these small towns along the coast are doing, too. Both Outer Banks and Oak Island love the tourists, they have a lot of rental properties for the “Spring Breakers” and others who come down every summer to spend time here. They enjoy the money, and complain about the tourists. How is that a good thing?
It’s not. But until the Federal Government steps in and says “You can’t do that!” they will continue.
At this end of all this, lies a light at the end of the tunnel. A return to normalcy, but how far that track runs and whether that light is the other side, or an on-coming freight train, we have yet to find out.
President Trump has extended the “Social Distancing” guidelines until the end of April, another, FULL month. For most, it has been about two weeks and the mental break down of some of these people has begun.
Those of us who have always advocating “prepping” (and many years ago, we were called “Survivalists”) understand “social distancing”, we always have. We also prepared for things like this, but even so, many will have to, in a month, or soon after, go out for food, supplies, or something like… toilet paper. (Not all preppers keep a year’s supply either….)
Watching this ‘apocalypse’ unfold before our eyes is both ‘enlightening’ as well as ‘terrifying’. The thing we expected is coming true, but it’s not a natural disaster as most of us envision. It’s not a world war, as many believed. It’s not nuclear annihilation, as may thought.
No, it’s a virus, something you can’t see but makes you sick. And no one knows who has it, because there’s a two week incubation period and you are likely contagious before you show symptoms. That in and of itself is enough to stress out the calmest prepper, let alone people who have no idea what “prepping” is about.
Our advice is simple; stay home. If you’ve not shown any signs of being ill for the two week period, then there’s no reason to stay in any longer. If you have not isolated for two weeks, then, do it. If you are sick, do NOT go out at all. This applies to everyone.
The second piece of advice, is mind your own business. Stay out of your neighbors face, business, stop taking pictures of their license plates and complaining on the Internet. Don’t act like a “Kindergartner”. Doing so is bad for your mental health and it’s bad for everyone else’s mental health – and eventually it will lead to bad health for everyone in the long run–when you create bad feelings, bad neighbors and create a bad name for yourself.
Side note and article. When did this virus begin, and why is it important…. Read more at the link below.
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