In the 1980s, comedian Jon Lovitz created a Saturday Night Live character called “Master Thespian” whose imprint still can be felt. Today, people occasionally will pull pretend emotional fits or appear to be in pain, only to suddenly change, adopt Lovitz’s intense, over-the-top character’s mannerism, and say, “ACTING!”
Which appears to be precisely the kind of stunt the “Acting” Mayor of Boston, Kim Janey is pulling on residents, business owners, and visitors in the Massachusetts hub.
Indeed, The Boston Globe excitedly reported Janey’s glorious new edict to save the world.
She wants everyone to wear masks.
According to the Globe:
The mandate applies to everyone over the age of 2 when inside a business, club, place of assembly, or other location open to the public. That includes retail outlets, restaurants, bars, performance venues, social clubs, event spaces, and municipal buildings.
Which, as I’ve mentioned for MRCTV, is a complete violation of the Contract Clause of the US Constitution, a clause that prohibits state politicians from interfering with the fulfillment of already agreed-to private contracts. So, to make it easy for “ACTING!” Mayor Janey to understand, if business owners and employees have made agreements for employment and pay that don’t include wearing masks, or businesses make contracts (of any kind) with customers for services, the state-level politician cannot intercede and nullify that contract with her own special magic face diaper mandates.
People will be permitted to remove face coverings when actively eating or drinking. But masks must be worn for all other indoor activities, including ordering at a bar or dancing. Janey’s office said the order does not apply to gatherings in private residences where no one is being paid, private buildings inaccessible to the public, places of worship, or performers who maintain 6 feet of distance from spectators.
Because, of course, the virus doesn't go after people who are eating or drinking.
The order also violates the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unwarranted searches and seizures, a provision which requires a public warrant to be issued by a judge, naming the person and place to be searched and the thing sought. “ACTING!” Mayor Janey simply cannot act like a Redcoat and demand that businesses open their doors for “inspection” of mask-wearing unless a judge has determined that there is probable cause to think an actual crime has been committed.
Likewise, a fine and possible arrest hiding behind any resistance to her edict also are unconstitutional, because the Sixth Amendment requires a fair and speedy trial before a jury, and the Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.
There can be no punishment for wrongdoing if there has been no trial to determine guilt.
Heck, how can the government claim there is a victim if businesses are private property and people have free will to decide whether they want to work together or frequent a shop based on its owner’s safety standards – for a virus with a nearly 99 percent survivability rate averaged for everyone.
It seems almost as if Janey is…
“ACTING!” when it comes to understanding her oath to abide by the US and Massachusetts constitutions.
Likewise, it seems as if she’s “ACTING!” when it comes to having any clue about freedom, private property, or ethics.
But this has been a problem for politicians going back decades, to the time when the FDR-filled US Supreme Court in 1946 claimed that a private business could not prevent a woman from roaming its campus and distributing religious pamphlets. The case was called “Marsh v. Alabama”, and dealt with a ship-building company that had created its own small town for workers. The business allowed workers to stay there in small residences if it was convenient, shop at a small store, and eat at a small diner. And while the plaintiff had a right to practice and preach that was supported by the First Amendment, she did not have a right to trespass on the campus to preach, just like she would not have had a right to enter someone else’s private home to preach. The SCOTUS found different, and determined that the business campus was “public” simply because it was open for business, and from there, the 1964 Civil Rights Act included in it a section called the “Public Accommodations Portion”, which put into federal statute the command that businesses could not act in discriminatory ways against potential clients or customers.
But we all discriminate. To discriminate is to make a choice between two or more options. All sentient beings, and some non-sentient, do so to survive.
To say that one cannot decide NOT to serve another is to destroy not only private property, but free will and freedom of association, and to hide racist attitudes behind the law.
Wouldn’t it be better to know if someone were a bigot, so that one could avoid that shop, rather than have the bigot hide the nasty trait because of the law?
As black economist Walter Williams used to tell people, he “discriminated” when he asked his wife to marry him. Didn’t’ they have that right?
Does a single woman have to go on a date with every man who asks her?
With private property and free will, the increasing number of questions and the debates about mask efficacy are left up to us to decide, peacefully, not by Janey – not by force
Our time and our lives are our own, and she has no constitutional or ethical prerogative to tell us otherwise.
No amount of “ACTING!” can change that fact, Ms. Janey.