Guest post by By Bobbie Anne Flower Cox
We have had a tremendous victory here in New York: a Supreme Court Judge has struck down Governor Kathy Hochul’s forced quarantine regulation! On July 8, 2022, Judge Ronald Ploetz ruled that the “Isolation and Quarantine Procedures” regulation is unconstitutional and “violative of New York State law as promulgated and enacted, and therefore null, void and unenforceable as a matter of law.”
Shockingly, New York’s Governor, Kathy Hochul, and Attorney General, Letitia James, plan to appeal the decision. Yes, that’s right…the Governor and AG, both unabashedly support quarantine camps! One would think that this fact, in and of itself, would be disturbing enough but add to it the fact that they’re both running for election this November, and you can see just how unconstitutionally brazen and wholly out-of-touch with New Yorkers each of these “leaders” is.
For anyone who missed my prior article on this horrific forced quarantine regime, the regulation truly shocks the conscience. Without exaggeration, it’s something out of a dystopian horror movie. It gives the unelected bureaucrats in the Department of Health the power to pick and choose who they want to “detain,” if they believe it’s even possible you might have a communicable disease. They don’t have to prove you’re actually sick.
And when I say “detain,” I mean lock you in your home or force you from your home into a facility. The government chooses which “detention center” and the length of your stay there is purely at the government’s discretion. That’s right: No time limit so it could be for days, months, or years…. Furthermore, there is no age restriction so that the government could force you, your child, your grandchild, or your elderly parent into detention.
This illegal quarantine regulation allowed for endless possibilities of abuse because there were no due process protections built in to safeguard against government abuse. Once targeted by the DOH, you would have no recourse whatsoever: No chance to prove that you aren’t actually infected with a disease. No chance to confront your jailers, see their supposed evidence against you or challenge their quarantine order in a court of law before getting locked up. Judge Ploetz stated in his decision that the regulation “merely gives ‘lip service’ to Constitutional due process.”
It gets worse. In the true fashion of a dictatorship, the government could tell you what you could and couldn’t do while in quarantine. For example, bureaucrats and politicians could decide to deprive you of your cell phone or internet access, thereby totally cutting off your communications with the outside world. They might also decide to restrict your food intake or force you to take certain medicines or “treatments” that the government deems appropriate. They could even choose to discriminate against those with certain views or beliefs, creating political prisoners, all in the name of supposed “health and safety”.
Judge Ploetz noted in his decision that, “[i]nvoluntary detention is a severe deprivation of individual liberty, far more egregious than other health safety measures, such as requiring mask wearing at certain venues. Involuntary quarantine may have far-reaching consequences such as loss of income (or employment) and isolation from family.”
I fully concur and so, when I first read this regulation last year, I knew I had to strike it down. It was clear to me that this “regulation” violated the separation of powers that is so clearly laid out in our Constitution. It violated existing New York State laws that have been on the books for decades. It violated due process protections.
I knew that, if I didn’t strike it down, then “quarantine facilities” could become a new norm in New York State. And if that happened, I knew it would spread like a cancer to other states across the nation. At that point, there’d be no place left to run and hide. This was not a fight only for New Yorkers; it was a fight for all Americans.
An inspirational note: When I started this lawsuit, I had no support whatsoever. Because I’ve been handling the case pro bono, nobody else wanted to work with me for free and it was near impossible to find anyone who shared my vision and my strategy for success. You see, this was the very first lawsuit of its kind in the entire nation and, very possibly, in the world. So, it took a tremendous amount of my time, energy, and resources to execute.
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The Governor and her co-defendants are represented by New York’s Attorney General, Letitia James. She has hundreds of lawyers working for her, all armed with unlimited resources. After all, it’s our tax dollars they use to pay all those attorneys. It’s truly a David v. Goliath story, especially because, while I once worked in a large, prominent, international Manhattan law firm, for the past 20+ years, I’ve had my own small law office in the suburbs of NYC. Since I’m handling this case pro bono, I don’t have the Attorney General’s team of attorneys or her unlimited resources.
Eventually, I found a few fabulous allies. Namely, my petitioners (Senator George Borrello, Assemblymen Chris Tague, and Mike Lawler) and, eventually, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, and Assemblyman Joseph Giglio who filed an Amicus Brief to support my case. Plus, attorney Tom Marcelle, who is now running for New York State Supreme Court judge.
After months of battling against the AG, last week we won the case! I’ve successfully struck down a severely unconstitutional regulation that the Governor and her Department of Health brazenly issued without any care whatsoever for the rights of the people. Now, I hope that other attorneys in states across the nation can use my lawsuit as a roadmap to help them strike down unconstitutional regulations in their states. Even international attorneys are contacting me to learn the details about how I structured and won this case. I hope it will aid them, too.
During one of my recent interviews, the host posted a picture of President Kennedy with a quote, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” She said that quote reminds her of me. Well, I hope that quote and this story inspire you to try!
Senator Borrello and Assemblymen Tague and Lawler are calling on the Governor to back off an appeal and to let this decision stand. If you’re a New Yorker, you can help with this effort. Call, email, or write to Governor Hochul (518- 474-8390 Twitter: @GovKathyHochul) and the Attorney General (800-771-7755 Twitter: @TishJames) to tell them that the voters do not want an appeal filed; that an appeal would be going against the will of the people; and that it would be a tremendous waste of taxpayer money.
To find out more about our monumental lawsuit, sign up for weekly updates, or support the lawsuit, go to www.UnitingNYS.com/lawsuit. You can find me on Substack at: https://attorneycox.substack.com/