In July, Judge Benjamin Settle dismissed a lawsuit brought against Governor Inslee for violation of constitutional rights, and while that is all that the Seattle Times reported, other sites tell a different story: “Today, the United States District Court agreed: Governor Inslee does not, will not, and cannot enforce his Proclamations.”
Reading the court order it is evident that they are both right. Yes, the lawsuit against Inslee was dismissed, but only because Inslee clarified that he has no connection with the enforcement of any of his Proclamations. That power lies in the hands of other officials.
But you can’t have it both ways. If the lawsuit failed because he did not have the power to enforce, then his orders are not enforceable. If he did have the power to enforce these orders, then the lawsuit would have proceeded to find him guilty of violating our constitutionally protected rights.
Ultimately Inslee’s orders are not enforceable. None of them.
It is already established that his orders are not law. The legislature has the authority to issue law, not Inslee. This should be self-evident: A single individual issuing law is not a democracy, that is a dictatorship. And when it comes to enforcement by local authorities, they are held to their Oath of Office, which requires them to uphold the laws of the land, as well as the constitutions (both state and federal). Even if an actual law was to be made from these orders (somewhere in the state, by a local authority) the law would violate state and federal constitutionally protected rights. And if there is a conflict between law and constitution, the constitution is the Supreme Law of the land. Therefore it must take precedence.
A naysayer may try to dismiss an interpretation by a non-lawyer, but the Constitution was written to protect the rights of everyone, not just lawyers or those with enough money to hire one. Interpretation is power. If the average citizen can’t interpret the constitution, then we don’t have a free country. Putting power in the hands of only a few was not the goal of the founding fathers. Remember: “We the People…” and: there is no government without the consent of the governed.
Since Inslee can not make law, his Orders are not enforceable. Here is what the district court judge had to say:
…Governor Inslee argues that the Court lacks jurisdiction to consider the claims against him because he does not have any connection with the enforcement of the Proclamations. Dkt. 31 at 21–22. Although Governor Inslee concedes that he has authority to issue, amend, and rescind emergency orders, he contends that enforcement powers lie with other officials.Court Order – Case 3:20-cv-05423-BHS Document 43, Filed 7/24/20
To reiterate, Inslee issues orders. Only. We are not subjects of Inslee. He is not a king. Not a single person in the state of Washington must take orders from Inslee. If he was a commanding officer in a branch of the military and you were his subordinate, then you would take his orders, but that is not the case. His orders are suggestions. You make the decision yourself.
But the really interesting part is that since he only got off because he argued that he had no part in enforcement. Therefore, those that do have a part in enforcement: police, mayors, city council members, commissioners, county officials, etc., are liable for violation of your constitutionally protected rights.
It is past time for local officials to realize that they were elected by their constituents, not by Inslee, and their authority lies wholly within the consent of their governed. This is not the military, the hierarchy of power is not the same, Inslee’s orders are not law, they are not enforceable. They are suggestions. Each individual official must look to their Oaths of Office, and remember that they are not allowed to violate our rights. Not for any reason.
We the people are watching.
Further: The lawsuit was brought by Drew MacEwen, Bruce Russell, Lee Pfluger, District 18’s very own Brandon Vick here in Clark County, and others. If you find a local official trying to enforce these orders, let Representative Vick know.
The lawsuit was filed in May and dismissed 7/24/20, Case number C20-5423 BHS