Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land
1. Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses in First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
2. Samuel Adams, The Rights of Colonists as Christians, 1772
[Our rights] may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institutes of the great Law-giver and head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament…there shall be liberty of conscience allowed in the worship of God to all Christians.
3. James Madison, Delivery to House of Representatives in 1789 and First Inaugural Address in 1809
I will state my reasons why I think it proper to propose amendments…the civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed.
In these my confidence will under every difficulty be placed…in the guidance of that Almighty Being whose power regulates the destiny of nations…and to whom we are bound to address our devout gratitude for the past, as well as our fervent supplications and best hopes for the future.
4. Courts have ruled that in public school, the Christians’ free speech and free exercise of religion infringes upon Establishment Clause and the students’ right to undue religious influence.
– teacher silently reading Bible in classroom prohibited
– voluntary prayer in school prohibited
– student writing paper about Jesus’ life prohibited
5. Rulings with regard to other government employees – Knight v. Connecticut Dept. of Public Health, 2nd Circuit (2001)
At a minimum, the Establishment Clause prohibits government from appearing to take a position on questions of religious belief. Thus, the interest of the State in avoiding an Establishment Clause violation may be a compelling one justifying an abridgment of free speech/free exercise otherwise protected by First Amendment.
6. Constitution Annotated
The Free Exercise clause’s purpose is to secure religious liberty in the individual by prohibiting any invasions there by civil authority…But when it comes to protecting conduct…it has long been held that the Free Exercise Clause does not necessarily prevent the government from requiring or forbidding an act.
7. Smoking peyote and animal sacrifice cases
The test is whether the restriction of conduct is “neutral and generally applicable” and the “time, place, and manner restriction is reasonable”
8. Youngstown v. Sawyer, U.S. Supreme Court (1952) “Steel Seizure Case”
The example of such unlimited power that must have most impressed the forefathers was the prerogative exercised by George III, and the description of its evils in the Declaration of Independence leads me to doubt that they were creating the new Executive in his image.
9. Young v. State, WA Supreme Court (1985)
Governor lacks inherent power except as delegated by the Constitution or statute.
10. Washington Governor derives power from statute – RCW 43.06.220
(1) The governor after proclaiming a state of emergency and prior to terminating such, may, in the area described by the proclamation, issue an order prohibiting:
(b) Any number of persons, as designated by the governor, from assembling or gathering on the public streets, parks, or other open areas of this state, either public or private.
(h) Such other activities as he or she reasonably believes be prohibited to help preserve and maintain life, health, property, or the public peace.
(5) Any person willfully violating any provision of an order issued by the governor under this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
11. COVID Mandates Are Unconstitutional
– No longer an emergency
– RCW unconstitutional because no checks and balance or time limit- Restrictions are NOT “neutral and generally applicable”
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