Is the Coronavirus (COVID-19) a mouse? Well, it has been something of a terror. When it first came out of China, because the Chinese lied to us, we did not know whether or not COVID-19 is dangerous. Since then the news media has overemphasized its dangers, and we expect some government agencies have padded their statistics to make COVID-19 look more dangerous than it actually is. Nevertheless, it has become fairly obvious that the virus is just a bit more dangerous than the flu. If you are not older than 45 and otherwise healthy, your risk from COVID-19 is small. Closing the schools, for example, keeps our children from being exposed to Liberal Democrat indoctrination, but it doesn’t provide them protection they need from the virus.

Unfortunately, we behave like herd animals. When we see the people around us afraid, we become afraid. Then we are at risk from tyranny. We can too easily be persuaded to give seemingly calm, authoritative, persuasive, knowledgeable, and power-hungry leaders more temptation than they can handle.

How is this working in Virginia? Our governor (Governor Ralph Northam) is ruling by decree, and we are irresponsible to let him do that, and the Constitution of Virginia says as much.

Most states have a constitution similar to the Constitution of Virginia. Still, if you live in another state, please look up your own. See if your constitution permits your governor to rule by decree. The Constitution of Virginia does not permits our governor such power. Your constitution probably doesn’t either.

Here are two basic arguments for this view.

  • A constitution is a charter that authorizes the powers our government uses to govern us. If a power is not authorized in a constitution, then the government does not have that power.
  • The Virginia Bill of Rights specifically denies governors the powers they have seized.

The Constitution of Virginia doesn’t give our governor the power to make laws. It gives this power to the General Assembly. Consider how Article IV (Legislature) begins in Section 1 (Legislative power).

The legislative power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in a General Assembly, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Delegates.

When it begins with this statement, Article IV, Section 11 (Enactment of laws) clearly nails down what that means.

No law shall be enacted except by bill. A bill may originate in either house, may be approved or rejected by the other, or may be amended by either, with the concurrence of the other.

What does the governor have to do with the passage of laws? As Article V (Executive) explains in Section 6 (Presentation of bills; powers of Governor; vetoes and amendments), he signs bills into law, vetoes bills he does not want to sign, or proposes amendments.

Article I in Constitution of Virginia contains Virginia’s Bill of Rights.

So what is in Part 2 of this short little series? Why are some governors and local politicians (like Prince William County’s Chair At-Large Ann Wheeler) so determined to keep their states from getting back to work (see Northern Virginia Localities Urge Governor to Set Regional Targets for Reopening)? Well, Liberal Democrats don’t like letting a good crisis go to waste, not even a crisis we have created by exaggerating the dangers posed by a disease out of proportion to the dangers it actually poses. To illustrate how that works, we will consider what is in the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or HEROES Act (

More Fun Reading


6 thoughts on “RULING BY DECREE? — PART 1

  1. Tom,

    I wonder if any Governor has the power to decree a quarantine that we are experiencing based on this explanation.

    • Isolation separates sick people with a quarantinable communicable disease from people who are not sick.

    • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

    Seems to me that if a person does not have COVID-19, he or she is not sick and there is no justification for isolation.

    Same for any person who has not been exposed and are not sick. Why should they be separated or restricted in a quarantine for more than the one or two weeks the virus takes to surface on someone exposed?


    Regards and goodwill blogging.

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