I understand there is a petition floating around to impeach Phyllis Randall.

Well, point me to it so I can sign up. The ever growing sense entitlement this woman has exhibited, since voting herself a huge salary increase, has been stunning. Not being satisfied with the restrictions mandated by Gov. Ralph Northam (D) in response to the Wuhan Virus, Randall determined to go further, based on flawed data (did we ever need to set up hospital space in the National Conference Center?), she enforced demands ensuring that many local businesses were driven into bankruptcy, thousands were left unemployed, education was interrupted, and basic rights of citizens were attacked. Smug county employees, including Randall, happily kept receiving their paychecks.

For the past several weeks Loudoun citizens negatively affected by her shutdown have been holding peaceful protests each Friday morning in front of the government center. Displaying signs describing effects of the shutdown and encouraging drivers supporting attempts to reopen Loudoun to honk their horns, they were met with some disdain. County employees crossing to pick up take-out lunches were reminiscent of “scabs” crossing a picket line. Randall herself, based on her new sense of entitlement, actually had an armed sheriff's deputy escort her to the sidewalk mailbox last week!

Recently the protest was interrupted by two Leesburg police cars and a half dozen police sent to shut down the protest group, which had received an open-ended permit. We were told that we could not use music. Leaders then invited protesters to use the microphone to share their stories ... of unemployment, of coming from communist countries, of having to endure internment camps to get here. We were told, no microphone and no loud speakers! This is what real First Amendment suppression looks like, people!

Unlike other “peaceful” protests, these police officers were treated with courtesy not violence. But, while protesters continued circling the block blowing their car horns, a naturalized citizen from Vietnam schooled these officers on why she was there, what she had gone through to get here and why she was determined to continue protesting. She introduced her young sons and tearfully told the police that this action was a horrible lesson on suppression that she never thought her boys would ever need to see.

After apparently having a conversation with people in the center, we were once again permitted to use the music, use the microphone and encourage cars to honk. We will be back next Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. We will not be silenced, we will not shut up and we will do whatever it takes to protect the Constitution of the United States.

Ellie Lockwood

Ashburn

(22) comments

Voltaire

Ellie—OK, there are several points here that need some contextualization and clarification. First, you are incorrect concerning who has authority to implement restrictions related to COVID-19. The County of Loudoun, like the rest of the Commonwealth of Virginia complied with the instructions provided by the Governor of Virginia, Dr. Ralph Northam, and the State Health Commissioner, Dr. Norman Oliver. The authority for the Commonwealth of Virginia to issue quarantines and public health emergency orders can be found in the Code of Virginia specifically Title 32.1 Health (§ 32.1-43 Authority of State Health Commissioner to require quarantine, etc.) and Title 44 Military and Emergency Law (§ 44-146.17 Powers and duties of Governor). When a state of emergency is declared, as it was for COVID-19, it can be used as a rationale or pretext for suspending rights and freedoms guaranteed under a country's constitution or basic law. Although the virus originated in Wuhan, China, it is called COVID-19. As to the economics behind the shutdown, that statement is subjective and is debatable. There were many small business concerns that were able to continue their operations through innovation and proper financial management. The Government also provided supplemental assistance to help those small businesses keep personnel on the payroll during the shutdown period. Also, you cannot consider County employees who are getting their lunches to be scabs as the described incident is a protest not a strike and further the County employees were not replacing anyone who was striking. There were no County employees striking just citizens, as described in your letter. The use of a Deputy Sheriff to escort the Board of Supervisors Chairperson to the mailbox may have been warranted if the situation was determined by the Sheriff as a “threatening” situation that could escalate into violence. Concerning harassment of County employees by protesters, the Code of Virginia considers that to be a criminal infraction. Concerning the protests in Leesburg that are described. There is no such thing as an “open ended permit”. If the protesters did have said permit, which is questionable, that does not allow the protesters to engage in unlawful behavior. The protesters who were using loud music and/or microphone was disrupting the townspeople and therefore was unlawful as that would constitute disturbing the peace. Law enforcement was correct to order the group to stop playing loud music and using the microphone as that usage was infringing on the rights of the other townspeople. Also, law enforcement was within its rights to disperse the crowd if they were engaging in unlawful conduct.

LetsBreal

"When a state of emergency is declared, as it was for COVID-19, it can be used as a rationale or pretext for suspending rights and freedoms guaranteed under a country's constitution or basic law. " Absolutely not.

It can be used as a rationale, but it's not a legal one. It would be unconstitutional. That pretext would be a under a statute. There are no statutes that EVER override the U.S. Constitution. The highest law of the land does not get overridden, except by an amendment. The reason there are so many unconstitutional laws in place is because they are never challenged in court or courts refuse to hear them because their dockets are full. The Code of Virginia also does not supersede the U.S. Constitution. It's just that the specific text you cite has not been challenged in court reviewing the constitutionality of it. Same with executive orders at the federal and state level. These are games of getting away with things until challenged.

Voltaire

LetsBReal—actually, yes it can and it is legal. In the case of Stay-at-Home Orders, the courts have found them to be lawful. The precedent that the courts have used to determine the legality of Stay-At-Home orders is Jacobsen v. Massachusetts. In that case, dating back to 1905 during the smallpox epidemic, a pastor argued that a mandatory smallpox vaccination violated his constitutional rights. The Supreme Court sided with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Court acknowledged that the “…liberty secured by the Fourteenth Amendment…consist in part, in the right of a person to live and work where he will.” But it added: “…in every well-ordered society..the rights of the individual in respect to his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be forced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand.” Even in our current situation though, the power of the government is limited. The Court warned that some restrictions may be so “arbitrary and oppressive in particular cases as to justify the interference of the courts to prevent wrong and oppression.” The Court added: “if a statute purporting to have been enacted to protect the public health, the public morals, or the public safety has no real or substantial relation to those objects, or is, beyond all question, a plain, palpable invasion of rights secured by the fundamental law, it is the duty of the courts to so adjudge, and thereby give effect to the Constitution." The courts would apply the “strict scrutiny” test, which requires that a law be “narrowly tailored to further compelling government interest.” The Government may override even such basic rights as freedom of speech, assembly, and religion if it meets the demands of strict scrutiny. Preventing the spread of COVID-19 meets the requirement of a compelling Government interest. Therefore the challenges to any restrictions would turn on whether they are narrowly tailored to do that. One reason that they may not be narrowly tailored is if they are egregiously excessive. However, the courts will likely grant the Government a lot of latitude on that question.

In the Jacobson case, the pastor who didn’t want the vaccination argued that there was a difference of opinion about the effectiveness and risks of vaccinations. The Supreme Court responded: “The fact that the belief is not universal is not controlling, for there is scarcely any belief that is accepted by everyone. The possibility that the belief may be wrong, and that science may yet show it to be wrong, is not conclusive, for the legislature has the right to pass laws which, according to the common belief of the people, are adapted to prevent the spread of contagious diseases.”

There is sufficient case law that shows that the U.S. Supreme Court and the court system the Court treating essentially all individual rights protections in our constitution as qualified or conditional rather than absolute, whenever the language of the provision is sufficiently general to admit of interpretation. For example, there is case law that noted that the protection for creditors provided by the Contract Clause is subject to exception explicitly tied to emergency. An essentially similar analysis, but not tied to emergency as such, can be found in the Court's interpretation of the great sources of contemporary individual rights doctrine: the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment, the Due Process clauses of the Fifth and 14th Amendments, and the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The judicial watchword, even for the most privileged of such rights, is "strict [or rigid] scrutiny", which means that government encroachment is not per se impermissible, but may be justified by a showing of necessity for the protection of a compelling state interest. For others, and sometimes even for these, other, less demanding "tests" have been applied: "intermediate scrutiny", "balancing", "rational basis"; most often there has been significant disagreement among the Justices as to what test is appropriate. All involve some weighing of the government's interest against the individual's right in the particular case.

Nobody said that the Code of Virginia overrode the U.S. Constitution. That is your interpretation. That is not correct. The Code of Virginia must comply and be consistent with the Virginia Constitution as well as the Constitution of the United States and federal law generally, and so its provisions are subject to invalidation by Virginia state or U.S. federal courts upon a finding that they are unconstitutional or preempted by federal legislation. Otherwise, Code provisions remain in effect until amended or repealed by the General Assembly. Changes are added through regular supplements and replacement volumes, rather than the issuance of a completely new code, which has only occurred five times.

As to the concept of the Executive Order (EO), the authority for the use of an EO by the President of the United States is constitutional as the legal or constitutional basis for EOs has multiple sources. Article Two of the United States Constitution gives the President broad executive and enforcement authority to use their discretion to determine how to enforce the law or to otherwise manage the resources and staff of the executive branch. The ability to make such orders is also based on express or implied Acts of Congress that delegate to the President some degree of discretionary power (delegated legislation). As to EOs issued by State Governors, that authority is found in state constitutions and statutes as well as case law, or is implied by the powers assigned to state chief executives.

The argument that “so many unconstitutional laws are in place is because they never get challenged or courts refuse to hear them because their dockets are full” is subjective and false. Many of these cases do not get heard because there is NO MERIT to support a court hearing them. If there is sufficient merit, a court will make the time to hear it. Also, the claim that there are so many “unconstitutional laws” is also subjective in that there is no evidence or case law/precedent shown to support that position. This is how the legal system works.

LetsBreal

Who cares what "the courts" have found to be legal. The courts are packed with judicial activists that do everything they can to circumvent the Constitution to get their way. "Reasonable regulation" is different from lawyer to lawyer, especially when trying to make things convenient even when it contravenes the Constitution. They come up with all sorts of BS to "get their way", regardless of what that beautiful document states. Anything to chip away at the foundation.

There's a system for changing the Constitution. That's Article V of the Constitution. Anything else is simply a way to incrementally change our society unconstitutionally for the sake of convenience and because they don't think they can meet the rigors of Article V. It's their way of slowly pulling power towards the government and away from the individual, which is the LAST thing the founders wanted.

SCOTUS also gave us the Korematsu decision, the Dred Scott decision, Plessy v. Ferguson, Obamacare, and many other idiotic travesties. They've been doing that judicial activism stupidity since Marbury vs. Madison. Heck, now we have Ruth Bader Ginsburg citing "International Law" in her opinions! Utterly ridiculous. These are people that have no virtue, and will do anything to "win" to further their personal ideologies. They corrupt the law for their own ends.

https://mountlibertycollege.org/without-virtue-there-can-be-no-liberty/

Voltaire

LetsBReal—Really? Who cares what “the courts” have found to be legal? Apparently, The U.S. Constitution and the Founding Fathers of this nation CARED about the ability of “the courts” to review the constitutionality of laws. Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist Papers, stated: “….“The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts. A constitution, is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of their agents.” Further, the matter of judicial review was settled by Chief John Marshall in Marbury v Madison (5 U.S. 1cr.) 137 (1803)) when he wrote that: ““The question, whether an act, repugnant to the constitution, can become the law of the land, is a question deeply interesting to the United States,” Marshall began his discussion of this final phase of the case, “but, happily, not of an intricacy proportioned to its interest.” First, Marshall recognized certain fundamental principles. The people had come together to establish a government. They provided for its organization and assigned to its various departments their powers and established certain limits not to be transgressed by those departments. The limits were expressed in a written constitution, which would serve no purpose “if these limits may, at any time, be passed by those intended to be restrained.” Because the Constitution is “a superior paramount law, unchangeable by ordinary means, . . . a legislative act contrary to the constitution is not law.” “If an act of the legislature, repugnant to the constitution, is void, does it, notwithstanding its invalidity, bind the courts, and oblige them to give it effect?” The answer, thought the Chief Justice, was obvious. “It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases, must of necessity expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the courts must decide on the operation of each.”

The decision in Marbury v. Madison has never been disturbed, although it has been criticized and has had opponents throughout our history. It not only carried the day in the federal courts, but from its announcement judicial review by state courts of local legislation under local constitutions made rapid progress and was securely established in all states by 1850.

As to what the Founders wanted, how do you know what they wanted? The answer is that you don’t know and therefore that conclusion is subjective. As to “judicial activism,” that term is often employed to criticize a court whenever it reaches an unpopular decision. Likewise, the term “judicial restraint” is often used to compliment a court for declining to overturn a challenged law. This dichotomy is too simplistic. Courts should strike down laws when they are unconstitutional (but not otherwise), and, conversely, they should uphold laws that are constitutional. A court truly engages in “activism” (i.e., exceeding its proper role) only when it interferes with the political branches without a valid constitutional basis.

The use of international law has been, in one form or another, part of the fabric of constitutional interpretation in the United States almost since its naissance. As noted by Justice Breyer, the United States is “a Nation that from its birth has given a ‘decent respect to the opinions of mankind.’” Chief Justice John Jay saw these references to the law of nations (as international law was known at the time) as a way for the United States to give itself legitimacy as a newly formed nation. He noted “the United States . . . by taking a place among the nations of the earth, bec[a]me amenable to the laws of nations.” The role that international law took in the early years of the Court’s jurisprudence was to function as an advisory backdrop against which U.S. decisions had to be squared and reconciled, whenever possible. Thus, “the laws of the United States ought not, if it be avoidable be construed as to infract the common principles and usages of nations.”

LetsBreal

Given the text below, why would you need a "permit" to speak. What's unlawful is any gubmint body requiring a permit to speak. However, don't confuse that with hurting people, damaging other people's property, one person detaining another by force or blocking a person's right of way. Two separate issues.

Amendment 1: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Voltaire

LetsBreal--You don't need a permit to speak. You do need a permit to assemble to protest. Hurting people, damaging people's property, and blocking/harassing a person are violations of the criminal code and persons will be arrested/prosecuted in the court system for those infractions.

LetsBreal

No, you actually don't.

"or the right of the people peaceably to assemble"

Voltaire

LetsBReal—Actually, yes, you do need a permit in some cases. I agree that here in the United States, you have the right to assemble and peacefully protest against the Government as you see fit. Derived from the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, you can assemble and engage in peaceful protest in a public space. That means sidewalks, streets, public squares, and parks, just to name a few. Yet along with that right, the government can place reasonable restrictions on your speech activities known as “time, place, and manner” restrictions. One such example is requiring you to have a demonstration permit before a large group assembles to march down a major public street or when a gathering of protesters agree to march on Washington D.C. during a contentious presidential inauguration. These types of restrictions are considered “reasonable” because the Supreme Court has found they are not based on the content of the speech.

Each state has its own form of protest laws designed to spell out the demonstration permit process and provide criminal penalties for violations of peaceful protest laws. In addition, individual municipalities and cities may have their own ordinances related to marches, demonstrations, or protests.

RandomName2019

A quick search of Ellie Lockwood told me all that I need to know about her, and certainly helped to clarify how meaningful her "contribution" is to any conversation.

Why no mention of Leterneau for the vote to raise salaries? Why no mention of what commensurate pay is for other localities? Why the insistence in using racist dog-whistle language to refer to COVID19?

There are so many legitimate issues to take with almost any elected official that I often wonder why people go after small, petty, empty items.

Notalib

What is so racist by calling it the Wuhan Virus?

Did it not originate in the Wuhan province of China?

Was the Spanish flu of 1918 racist as well?

Libs are such Pajama Boys and Snowflakes that's its sickening. Please keep it up though. The tide is turning and the silent majority will be heard on 11/3.

Sunday Sinner

No one cares. It just lets the rest of us know we're about to get a serious helping of wing nut hot takes.

Drank Sinatra

Technically speaking, you are correct, Wuhan Virus is being used pejoratively in this opinion piece. The virus is called COVID-19 and should be referenced as such by anyone wishing to be taken seriously.

Drank Sinatra

My previous comment should say, “...but Wuhan Virus is being used pejoratively in this opinion piece.”

LetsBreal

Bingo. They have a persecution complex. Any excuse to complain.

African Sleeping Sickness / African Trypanosomiasis, West Africa 1734

German Measles, Germany 1814 Outbreak was first identified by researchers in Germany but did not necessarily first occur in Germany

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Rocky Mountains, Idaho 1896

Spanish Flu (Influenza) Spain, 1918 -- Research shows origin unknown

West Nile Virus, Nile River, Africa 1937

Zika Virus, Zika, Uganda 1947

Coxsackie Virus, Coxsackie, NY 1948

Machupo River Virus, Machupo River, Bolivia 1952

Hanta Virus, Hanta River South Korea 1955

Sagiyama Virus, Sagiyama Japan 1957

Ross River Virus, Ross River, Australia 1959

Marburg Virus, Marburg, Germany 1967

Noro Virus, Norwalk, Ohio 1968

Lassa Virus, Lassa, Nigeria 1969

Lyme Disease, Old Lyme, Connecticut 1975

Legionnaire's Disease, American Legion Convention, Philadelphia, PA 1976

Ebola Virus, named after the Ebola River nearby the village of Yambuku Congo

where it was actually discovered, Yambuku, Congo 1976

Hendra Virus, Hendra, Australia 1994

MERS Virus -- short for Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome --- which was a 'nice' way of saying Saudi Arabia

RandomName2019

It was first reported in the Wuhan province, but hasn't been proven to have origniated there.

Also, the Spanish Flu did not originate in Spain, they were merely the only neutral country in WWI that reported on it.

As to the silent majority; you better hope that the silent majority isn't heard on 11/3 or it will destroy whatever remaining delusions you have left about your superiority in this country.

BobOhneiserEsq

I ran against Phyllis and believe I was more qualified to be Chair than either Phyllis or John Whitbeck. This does not mean that I condone hit pieces against her character. Instead of pushing a petition that will not succeed I would suggest you go door to door and ask the majority of Loudoun why they don't bother to vote in local elections. Not that the decision would have been any different but we as a county would be far more credible if we showed up to make such a decision 100%. Vote or stop complaining. :-)

Sunday Sinner

Stopped reading at Wuhan virus. Told me all I needed to know about how this was going to go. Thanks for all the words, Karen.

Stewie

Oh, how funny with the Karen comment at the end. Very clever! I could assume I know everything about your opinions based on use of that word but that would be wrong. Why not read the opinion of writer and consider someone else’s viewpoint, even if you might not agree?

Sunday Sinner

I'm amenable to other viewpoints so long as they're not steeped in deliberately provocative / politically tribal language. She could've written her letter that way and chose not to.

Sunday Sinner

LOL just googled her and she is spending her retirement 'trollin the libs' on Twitter and wherever else. Sad way to spend the rest of your days.

Drank Sinatra

Same.

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