Democrats need to take steps to curb violence in their states, perhaps, but they are doing it by taking away constitutional rights of the law-abiding under the guise of public health emergencies, as in the case New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, legal expert Jonathan Turley warned.
Grisham issued an emergency public health order that suspends the open and permitted concealed carry of firearms in Albuquerque for 30 days amid violence, but that will not stand up to legal challenges and will ultimately weaken public emergency powers forever, according to Turley.
“The order, in my view, is flagrantly unconstitutional under existing Second Amendment precedent. It could also be a calculated effort to evade a ruling by making the period of suspension so short,” Turley posted on X, linking to a column on his website, rebuking Grisham’s missteps.
“Many will of course celebrate the boldness of Grisham in taking away an individual right under a cleaver measure,” Turley added in a post. “It is, however, too cleaver by half. If not found moot at the end of the period, New Mexico could supply a vehicle to curtail future public health rationales.”
Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city, has been roiled by violence and criminal behavior, so Grisham has been forced to take emergency action.
“As I said yesterday, the time for standard measures has passed,” she said. “And when New Mexicans are afraid to be in crowds, to take their kids to school, to leave a baseball game — when their very right to exist is threatened by the prospect of violence at every turn — something is very wrong.”
But, Turley said, using “public health emergency” measures that have become more frequent now after the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, mandates, and orders, is dangerous.
“Democratic leaders have increasingly turned to a claim used successfully during the pandemic in declaring a health emergency to maximize unilateral authority of governors,” Turley wrote. “There have also been calls to declare racism a public health emergency, supported by groups like the American Public Health Association. Transgender programs have also been declared a public health emergency by some groups.
“The motivation behind many of these calls is not to negate constitutional rights, but the question is whether such declarations allow governors discretion to suspend or curtail individual rights.
“As the list of claimed health emergencies grow, even state Democratic judges may begin to balk at the obvious end-run around constitutional rights.”
“Major Democratic cities are delivering lasting self-inflicted wounds to gun control efforts with poorly conceived and poorly drafted measures,” Turley added.
“No state has done more for the Second Amendment than New York. The state has been a fountain of unconstitutional laws — and the basis for a series of wins for Second Amendment advocates.
“New Mexico could now prove the next big opportunity for gun rights advocates in tackling the public health rationale for gun control.”
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016, starting on the first night of the Republican National Convention. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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