Tyranny comes to rural Kansas
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”
Ian Peery is Joe Kansan. He loves his country, has an arm full of tats proclaiming his patriotism. He works hard, owns his own business building fences. His wife works at a nursery greening up Kansas – she has bore him a young son. The Peery's gathered with close friends in Pleasanton Kansas over July 4 to celebrate their freedoms.
Little did they comprehend just how precarious those freedoms are in post-modern America.
A few days after the party one of Ian's pals came down with a fever. He tested positive for Covid-19.
Enter the Linn County Health Department. Their contract tracers asked the sick one about gatherings he had attended – the July 4 co-celebrators were inventoried.
The contract tracers called the Peerys. The Peerys reported no fevers, no coughs, no symptoms of Covid-19. They asked to be tested. Their request was denied – not enough tests to go around, they were told.
Soon thereafter Ian Peery and many of his close friends were served notice by the Linn County Sheriff. Notice of a quarantine order. An order signed by a nurse. A fill-in-the-blank order that began four days before it was served and ended fourteen days after it began:
A fill-in-the-blank order that the Peery's were not to leave their home, or have visitors in their home, for ten days:
A fill-in-the-blank order that was breathtaking in its scope:
A fill-in-the-blank order that was breathtaking in its threats:
A fill-in-the-blank order, signed by a nurse, which threatened criminal prosecution and forced relocation to an austere internment camp a few miles away should the Peery's choose to leave their property, or entertain guests at their property, in violation of the nurse's quarantine order.
The Peery's contacted this attorney on Monday, July 13 at 4:40 pm. By Tuesday morning I had filed a verified petition (ie affidavit testimony) for a Writ of Habeas Corpus raising several issues under the Kansas Constitution and United States Bill of Rights. I partnered with the Faith and Freedom loving Peery's to get this overreach before the Kansas judiciary.
Governor Sam Brownback had appointed Terri L. Johnson to the bench in 2014. The Honorable Judge Johnson set a hearing for Thursday, July 16 at 1:30 p.m. The County filed an answer admitting to no wrong – the quarantine order, it argued, was necessary and reasonable. Even though only 2/1000 residents of Linn County had contracted Covid-19, with no deaths attributable to Covid in Linn County. This statistic, the County argued, proved that their quarantine orders were working.
This attorney argued that the quarantine order was breathtaking in its overreach, allowing the Peery's nearly none of the constitutional freedoms allegedly theirs as free citizens. Concrete examples were argued to demonstrate just how far-reaching this stay-at-home order was; hard questions were raised as to how the government could simply deny testing, assume sickness, and cost both Peery's two weeks of income.
After a parade of horribles in the petition included the following “catch all” paragraphs, written to convince the Court that this quarantine order was unAmerican at best:
Petitioners believe that the quarantine order constitutes government overreach of a most onerous kind, overreach that has violated enumerated rights which are theirs, given by the Almighty God (Kansas Constitution, Preamble) and not the State of Kansas or County of Linn. This overreach is the government impairing and denying rights “retained by the people,” rights which are to “remain with the people” by order of the organic documents. Kansas Constitution, Bill of Rights, Article 20. Evidence of this is found in the paper-thin statutory and dubious (at best) scientific authority for the “house arrest”-like quarantine order issued against Petitioners on July 8, 2020. Said order should in no way overthrow Petitioners' rights as free citizens of Kansas and the United States of America. Petitioners herein intend to assert all of the rights which are properly theirs as citizens of Kansas and the American Republic.
The County sneered at such arguments, and specifically poked fun at this one:
Thus in the absence of evidence of Covid-19 infection, and with a governmental dedication to seek no such evidence against Petitioners other than mere association, Petitioners have been subjected to the onerous “house arrest” orders at bar. The government placed Petitioners under an onerous and rights-violating quarantine order which will cost Petitioners thousands of dollars rather than expend a few government dollars on testing kits.The government continues to deny testing to Petitioners, stating that only if the Petitioners first become symptomatic will testing resources be allocated to them.Such government overreach and “reasoning” is a threat to every citizen of Linn County. The government clearly finds it more cost effective to quarantine the Petitioners than to test the Petitioners, the cost to the Petitioners of said quarantine being of no concern to the bureaucrats controlling both the allocating of testing kits and issuance of “house arrest” orders.
The County rejected the idea that it should be testing rather than quarantining. Test to quarantine seems to be the Linn County motto.
This attorney brought case law to bar. In 1948 the City of Wichita held two women of ill repute in custody until and unless they would agree to be tested for venereal diseases, a test which was more than a bit violative of personal space. The Kansas Supreme Court rebuked the City with these words:
The language of the city ordinance and the rules of the board of health, both of which have been upheld by us, are mandatory. There can be no question but that it is the duty of the city health officer to make this examination. It does not follow that the proper way to cause the patient to submit to the examination is that followed here, to hold the patient in confinement until they do submit.We held that action was an invasion of the rights of the two petitioners in this case. Where there are reasonable grounds for the city health officer to believe that a patient is afflicted with a venereal disease he has the power under the ordinance to restrain the suspected person and to forcibly cause him or her to submit to an examination
Welch v. Shepherd, 165 Kan. 394 (1948)
In this instance the above “machts nicht.” The Peerys did submit, they asked to be tested. Still they are under house arrest, awaiting the onset of hypothetical symptoms while suffering real economic harm.
Her Honor, after a brief hearing, denied the Habeas Corpus Writ.
She noted that the Peery's had never asked to have the terms modified to meet their needs. This attorney then asked her if she would have struck the quarantine order had the Peery's sought such a relaxing and been denied.
“No" she honestly replied.
Her Honor stated during the hearing that the quarantine was necessary and reasonable to protect those other than the Peerys. Ian Peery reported that she pointed to herself when stating that others were being protected by the quarantine order. (I did not see that, I was looking at my notes)
Such a fill-in-the-blank order may very well be served upon you next week, my fellow Kansans.
Submit to the tyranny or be broken on the statist wheel fighting the power?
I am here for any who wish to mount the challenge allowed by law. The constitutional arguments are solid – it is just that the land from which we are making them has become sinking sand, a relativistic morass in which those who care least about our experiment in ordered liberty command the most power.
Like fill in the blank nurses who probably never heard of Magna Carta or Habeas Corpus.
If the above total quarantine order threatening an internment camp (will there be re-education classes there?) is not government overreach – what order would be? I cannot imagine a quarantine order of ten days duration more onerous than that which Linn County issued on July 8 – and which Linn County has no reason not to issue on July 17, thanks to the ready approval of the Kansas judiciary.
Ian Peery's tats proclaimed his patriotism before he and I met. Ian now has Peery v. Linn County Board of Health, 20-MV-12 (2020), a Habeas Corpus action with roots in Magna Carta, as yet more proof of his love of country. Something to show to his son one day ... proof Ian fought the good fight when the medical Tigers broke free.
A lost cause, true, but let us toast the spirit of the last defiant act. The romantic lost cause.
God help us, we are, in this insane year, losing our American birthright through a medical collectivization process. See CS Lewis, above. Please understand, they only want to keep us safe. What would Benjamin Franklin say?
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Fight the power.
Stand for the flag.
Kneel to YHWH alone.