NY Governor Seeks Dictatorial Powers

Bill A416 Includes Indefinite Detention and Forced Medical Treatment

The most blatantly un-American and un-Constitutional legislation in 80 years is currently being considered by the New York Assembly.

If passed, Assembly Bill A416 would grant Gov. Cuomo (and any future governor) the power to seize and detain any person suspected of being "infectious" for up to 60 days without a court order, in a facility where they would be forced to undergo medical treatment.

Not only does this violate the most basic human rights guaranteed by the US Constitution (including both the entire spirit and substance of the Fourth, Fifth, and 14th Amendments), it violates the American Medical Association's Code of Medical Ethics, which holds that "informed consent to medical treatment is fundamental in both ethics and law."

... the governor or his or her delegee, including, but not limited to the commissioner or the heads of local health departments, may order the removal and/or detention of such a person or of a group of such persons by issuing a single order, identifying such persons either by name or by a reasonably specific description of the individuals or group being detained.

The governor or his or her delegee may ... require an individual who has been exposed to or infected by a contagious disease to complete an appropriate, prescribed course of treatment, preventive medication or vaccination, including directly observed therapy to treat the disease and follow infection control provisions for the disease.

- Proposed NY Act 416

The bill grudgingly acknowledges the illegality of compelling treatment, by stating: "The provisions of this section shall not be construed to permit or require the forcible administration of any medication without a prior court order." However, it's clear that the word "forcible" leaves a lot open to interpretation. If you have been essentially arrested, and are being confined in a medical facility where you can't work or see your family, is it "forcible" to tell you that you can't leave until you accept an injection of some unknown substance? Given the overall tone of the bill, it's difficult to imagine a detainee successfully arguing that case.

Even more chilling is the bill's reference to "a reasonably specific description of the individuals or group." This means that if you are, say, an Orthodox Jew - a community of people who dress very similarly - your entire neighborhood could be rounded up and detained, simply based on a "reasonably specific description."

Keep in mind that nothing in this bill requires the agents of the state to prove that a person is actually sick or infectious. It is all based on opinion and suspicion.

If history teaches us anything, it is that power, once granted, is inevitably abused. The language of A416 is so vague that it could be used to forcibly detain anyone, at any time, at the discretion of the governor and his minions. This is not only antithetical to the laws of the United States, it is completely contrary the fundamental ideals of a free society.

Today, it is the state of New York. Tomorrow, it may be somewhere else. For the sake of all citizens, Bill A416, and anything like it, must be stopped.

Key Points

  • New York is considering Bill A416, which would grant the governor power to detain anyone, at any time, on the pretext of public health.
  • The bill allows for entire groups to be detained, based simply on a description.
  • The state is not required to prove that a detainee is actually sick or infectious; a suspicion is enough.
  • This legislation is un-American, un-Constitutional, and must be stopped.

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