Why So Many Americans Reject Legal Due Process in the Age of Covid
The policy response to the covid panic of 2020 in the United States was one of the most widespread direct attacks on fundamental human rights in decades. Overnight—and without any deliberation, debate, or checks and balances—millions of Americans were denied their basic rights to seek employment, to freely assemble, and to engage in religious practices.
Business and churches were closed, and countless Americans were ordered to stay in their homes and abandon their sources of income.
This was all done with no legal process other than the issuance of edicts from a tiny handful of politicians, usually executives such as state governors and city mayors.
Those who pressed for lockdowns and the effective confiscation of property—for that’s what a forced business closure actually is—denied that any sort of due process or “checks and balances” were necessary.
Rather, the lockdown advocates insisted that the public instead embrace unreservedly the “recommendations” of experts in government offices, who insisted that coerced lockdowns and business closures were the only reasonable response to the assumed threat of covid-19. Were one to suggest in mixed company that businesses ought to be afforded a hearing before being forcibly closed—or that an individual ought to receive some sort of due process before being deemed a “nonessential” worker—this was likely to elicit scoffing and contempt.
There’s no room for due process anymore, the official narrative tells us.
This new turn toward obedience to expert-fueled executive power didn’t appear from nowhere. Rather it is, in part, a manifestation of a long ideological process that has gradually replaced respect for legal checks and balances and due process with a deference to scientific experts. These experts, it is alleged, must not be subject to the slow and inefficient process of legal constraints on state power.
De Jouvenel’s basic premise is this: with the rise of liberalism in the West—what some call classical liberalism—greater care was taken to erect legal obstacles that slowed or prevented state action against individuals. This was done to ensure due process was afforded to ordinary people. This po
Article from Mises Wire