SWAIN COUNTY, U.S.S.A – This is quickly becoming a dystopian novel, in which government authorities are empowered by ’emergency’ and the sense that the emergency declarations give them the the right to dictate every move we make.
A Swain County man, Jesse Shows, was out to get a late dinner, a burger and some ice cream. Unbeknownst to Shows, Swain County has passed an emergency curfew of 10:00 PM in reaction to the coronavirus, a viral scourge that has a confirmed Swain County case count of ZERO. It was 10:05 PM; Shows was pulled over; Shows argued the inanity of the curfew, but still got a ticket; and, now Shows is suing Swain County for infringing upon core constitutional rights.
From the Charlotte Observer:
“[…] Shows had violated Swain County’s new 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. COVID-19 curfew that had gone into effect two nights before.
Shows said he was flabbergasted.
“What curfew?” Shows asks the deputy in a video of the stop captured by a camera in Shows’s car. “There’s no such thing in the United States.”
Dover, according to footage, assures him that there is, and he later reminds Shows that the county already had been placed under a state of emergency due to the pandemic.
Shows appears unconvinced.
You can’t have a curfew unless you have something like rioting, he tells the deputy. “Have you seen any rioting around Swain County? I haven’t seen any riots.”
The two men continue to argue, civilly enough, over whether the curfew is constitutional. Shows tells the deputy that it is not.
“Actually, you’re wrong,” Dover replies.
“I betcha I’m right,” Shows says.
“I betcha you’re wrong,” Dover answers back, getting the final word before walking back to his cruiser to write out a ticket.
By the time Shows drove off, he had been charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. […]”
It’s probably a burden these days to be able to think, and act upon, common sense. Unfortunately, law enforcement officers have been asked to suspend all common sense in enforcing these asinine lockdown measures.
Shows, for his part, was serious. He bets this is unconstitutional, and he has filed suit in federal court, calling on the judge to halt the curfew. Shows is planning on representing himself, though with the attention he’s getting he might be afforded some pro bono legal representation by groups interests in defending constitutional rights. Which begs the begs the question; where is the American Civil Liberties Union?
Shows isn’t waiting, and his common sense (or not common enough?) remains intact:
“Six feet apart from each other? That makes sense. No more gatherings of 20 or more? That makes sense,” he said. “Those are all encroachments of our liberties, but we are in a state of emergency.
“What I do object to is Chicken Little measures — ‘the sky is falling! the sky is falling!’ This a perfect example of the Board of County Commissioners feeling like they have to do something but not taking the time to check if it’s appropriate.”
Which brings him back to Friday’s traffic stop.
“I was not a bigger risk at 10:05 p.m. to spread the virus than I was at 9:45,” Shows said. “I was driving alone, maintaining my social distancing. I was about to be home.
“Then this deputy pulls me over. Now he’s interacting with me. He creates this interaction that wasn’t needed in the first place.” […]”
Read more about Shows lawsuit, and Swain County’s reasoning for a mandatory curfew, here.