In Defense of the Republic
There are some Idaho legislators coming to the Capitol on June 23, 2020. (This date is 90 days after the extreme emergency declaration by the Governor.) No longer should the executive branch go unchecked while our legislators wring their hands claiming they can not represent us without permission of the Governor. Our legislators are convening at the request of the people. The question we ask is “Why aren’t ALL our legislators eager to do the job we hired them to do? We the People want our representative government back. No longer should the executive branch modify Idaho law, as happened in the Idaho primary elections. No longer should the executive branch appropriate funds, as that is a clearly defined task of our elected representatives.
Representative Vito Barbieri shares why he will be at the Capitol ready to represent the people who hired him for the task of representing them, especially in times like these.
“Since the Magna Carta, through the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, to today’s Idaho Constitution, the purpose of each was to secure, under the law and with the assent of the people, the mutual well being of that people.
To suggest that the Idaho Constitution contemplates requiring permission from the executive branch for the legislature to convene is to deny the fundamental premise upon which our Republic stands:
Each branch equal, independent, and separate from the other.
The executive branch asks not of the legislature permission when to act; the judicial branch asks not when it may convene; how then does the Idaho Constitution purport to require the legislative branch to appeal to a ‘higher power’ than itself? Certainly, the staunchest democrat, and even Idaho senators, recognize the inherent peril of failing to reoccupy the vacuum, failing to exercise our responsibilities, failing, even, to attempt a check on centralized power, because some opinions from some (high priced) attorneys say ‘you aren’t allowed’.
Where in that document is such a restriction specifically addressed? There is no restriction because the fundamental premise of a Republic was taken for granted by the drafters: No individual, no governor, no court, no extra-constitutional body was ever envisioned by them to control the voice, the representatives, of the people.
The power to convene, when to convene, and for what purpose to convene, fundamentally rests with the legislature, alone.
If it were otherwise, that is, that the Idaho Constitution specifically requires the people’s representatives to seek permission to convene, would not the citizens of the state rightly conclude that they have been duped into believing that Idaho government was of them, by them, and for them?
(And “Was it all a lie, to keep the pitchforks at bay, as the institutions gradually but steadily encroached?”)
The Idaho Constitution is created by the people of the state to limit the power of government over its citizens. To argue that it limits the ability of the representatives of the people to convene only upon permission from the governor is to argue that Idaho has a King and that the people’s representatives must first be blessed with Imperial Grant. Such an argument, in yesterday’s America, would be absurd.
Idaho citizens are clamoring for a voice in the decisions being made by an executive branch that appears to have no check against its power. Decisions that have thrust people into unemployment after determining arbitrarily that their financial security is ‘not essential’, which in turn, evidences a gross disregard by the government of their personal wellbeing.
Decisions banning freedom to associate, freedom of religion, freedom to travel, and more, come from institutions brazenly disregarding personal liberty, the essential element of America’s founding, in the name of an ‘emergency’ that is not evidenced by the facts.
Seeing that the draconian actions were not founded upon fact, nor upon science, but upon imperfect and shifting data, rash action, and defective ‘models’,
Idaho citizens suspect that the legislature is complicit with the governor’s power grab. (The messaging, the continued farcical warnings and cautions spewing from official sources evidence to the people an inability, or likely a deliberate failure, to reexamine the facts, to admit a mistake, and to alter course.)
If not complicit, then surely, given the facts ‘on the ground’, the legislature is disenfranchised, marginalized, gutted, powerless. Such suspicions will be well-founded if the legislature shrinks now from its representative obligations.
If the legislature fails to convene prior to the January 2021 Session, it fails to exercise its responsibilities to the very people to whom the members ultimately owe their place in office: the voters, the citizens, the taxpayers. Each legislator must ask whether their loyalties lie with an Imperial Governor or with the people from whom that legislator derives his (or her) authority.
It is axiomatic that only from the people of the state is the power of a legislature to act. Not from the governor or the judiciary. It is therefore anathema to a representative government, not less to liberty and justice, for the people’s representatives to request permission, from anyone, to convene.
How can anyone argue otherwise, of a sovereign state, in America?
To seek counsel, request opinions, and otherwise deflect the responsibilities inherent in elected office, is to reject the privilege granted by the franchise and to abdicate the power of the citizenry to a king or a black-robed oligarchy, or both.
This I cannot do.
I will be sitting in my chair on the floor of the House of Representatives at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 to participate in and promote the legislative responsibilities granted me by the voters of District 2. I urge every other Idaho legislator to do the same. It’s time to convene for an extraordinary session.”
Representative Vito Barbieri