The following passage is an editorial. Information contained within is related to a report which can be found here. This article is not a report and does not claim to be factually accurate, as it is an expression of opinion.
“At this time, law enforcement is focused on ensuring that residents are aware of the order and informing the public of social distance practices,” he said. “While the order is mandatory, voluntary compliance is preferred.”Governor Tom Wolf
A woman in York County, PA was going for a drive because she was stir-crazy. Aren’t we all? She wanted fresh air and to enjoy the scenery away from public places and away from people. As this is a frustrating scenario, this should be allowed.
There is no justifying the assessment of fines related to this pandemic.
We the people still have rights and we the people still have the freedom to move, act, conduct commerce and otherwise go about our business undisturbed and unafflicted. A drive through the Pennsylvania countryside poses little risk to other people as opposed to stopping at the grocery store for a case of soda or an electronic device.
The law is not currently excluding, nor can it exclude our rights to move and pursue our freedom to act in any manner not considered to be a blatant act of danger such as assault and attack, or other illegal conduct.
Coronavirus is not an exception to our essential liberties. Anybody who would like to make this argument that a woman driving out of boredom is guilty of ridiculous endangerment is absurd.
However, she was pulled over for a vehicle code violation. That is normal and expected. What is not normal, and what is unjustifiable is that she was fined 200 dollars for defying a mandate that has no legal authority.
Make no mistake that the laws surrounding situations like this are very clear and concise. Governor Wolf is not in the right.
Amendment V:United States Constitution
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
What this is saying is that you cannot be held under ANY penalty of law without due process, and there is therefore no justifying a legal assessment of fines related to something that in normal circumstances is not a crime, and has not been ratified into law.
Governor Wolf’s mandate has not been ratified into law, and is therefore VOID to be enacted and to be enforced. This mandate is unconstitutional overreach and is not to be enforced as law!
The mandate lays out a recommendation to stay home and avoid contact, but is the bare limit of the text of the mandate. Until it is ratified as law, it is not law, and is not enforcable
Below are additional case laws to reaffirm that this is not a unique scenario.
“The right of a citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon in the ordinary course of life and business is a common right which they have under their right to enjoy life and liberty, to acquire and possess property, and to pursue happiness and safety. It includes the right in so doing to use the ordinary and usual conveyances of the day; and under the existing modes of travel includes the right to drive a horse-drawn carriage or wagon thereon, or to operate an automobile thereon, for the usual and ordinary purposes of life and business. It is not a mere privilege, like the privilege of moving a house in the street, operating a business stand in the street, or transporting persons or property for hire along the street, which a city may permit or prohibit at will.” [Thompson v. Smith, 155 Va. 367,154 SE 579 (1930)]
[Hertado v. California, 110 US 516], the U.S Supreme Court states very plainly: “The state cannot diminish rights of the people.”
[Bennett v. Boggs, 1 Baldw 60] “Statutes that violate the plain and obvious principles of common right and common reason are null and void.”
“. . the assertion of federal rights, when plainly and reasonably made, is not to be defeated under the name of local practice.”
[Davis v. Wechsler, 263 US 22, at 24 (1923)]
“Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.”
[Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436, 491 (1966)]
“The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot thus be converted into a crime.”
[Miller v. U.S., 230 F.2d 486, at 489 (1956)]
“. . .there can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of his exercise of constitutional rights.”
[Sherar v. Cullen, 481 F.2d 946 (1973)]