Governor Ned Lamont’s latest addition to his plethora of COVID-19 orders imposes a $10,000 fine on any business that knowingly or unknowingly violates the state’s pandemic restrictions. This comes just one week after he imposed a two month long moratorium on all organized youth sporting activities, along with an order for all restaurants to close by 9:30pm. Connecticut business owners say this could deliver the final death blow to the slim profit margin they already had, in a state where two thirds of businesses that closed their doors due to the pandemic will never open again.
In Federalist #57, titled “The Alleged Tendency of the Plan to Elevate the Few at the Expense of the Many Considered in Connection with Representation,” James Madison discusses the dangers of rash legislation. The only restraint, according to Madison, is “the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and, above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America - a spirit which nourishes freedom….” I ask the people of Connecticut: Where is this vigilant spirit that keeps ‘careful watch for possible danger’ within the State? Where is this genius of the whole system? A system of checks and balances among three branches of government, rather than the ‘absolute negative’ that Madison calls governing with the executive order. And finally, do we have a State of just and constitutional laws? A State that respects the First Amendment which demands that “Congress shall make no law ……..abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble?” I ask the people of Connecticut: When will it be too late to resist the edicts of the Governor before we devolve into tyranny itself? Only in America do we claim to be free, but unequivocally submit ourselves to the orders of the ruler.