RALEIGH – When Governor Roy Cooper signed his executive order mandating decreeing Stay-at-Home shutdowns in response to pandemic panic, the economy went into an artificially imposed tailspin. The nightmarish scenarios of death and overwhelmed hospitals has not come to pass. Workers, business owners, and citizens concerned about their rights started to speak up for some real relief — a release from the Stay-at-Home order — organized a grassroots protest and were summarily shutdown…for violating the order. One person was arrested.
Did Cooper’s edict ban protests against the edict? That’s seems constitutionally problematic and members of the N.C. Senate Judiciary Committee want know more.
Governor Cooper, and supporters of the shutdown policies, argued that the collective good of ensuring public health justified the subversion of citizens’ rights to make a living, freely assemble, or even access their own properties. Pushing the good of the collective at the expense of individual rights is anathema to the very idea that formed America. Following this precept has led to the largest spike in unemployment claims in our State’s history; and it appears that the order empowers the governor to also shutdown opposition to the policy.
This more akin to tyranny than most people would like to admit. For his part, Cooper seems aware, at least, of the shaky ground he is on. He’s now acquiesced to the need to reopen the state, albeit at his incremental discretion and without acknowledging the fundamental violations that he and others have committed thus far.
Beyond the question of when the perceived threat of the virus will pass, or how long it will take the economy to get back to normal, there will remain the question of whether or not government officials and governing bodies will be held accountable for the many draconian, damaging, and unconstitutional actions perpetrated against the citizens of North Carolina.