Emergency Powers

It is basic to the idea of an "emergency" that special action is required for a limited time. A problem can certainly be serious even if it isn't an "emergency". But it is an abuse of any "emergency power" to apply it to issues of an ongoing nature.

The fact that the people of California have been willing in the past to tolerate some violations of their rights for a limited time in cases of actual emergencies, e.g., earthquakes or floods, cannot be accepted as legitimizing similar violations of rights as a way of dealing with changes of a permanent nature, such as the existence of a new disease, or that are expected to take place over decades or centuries, such as rising sea levels.

The best solutions to serious new problems of an ongoing nature are the same as for serious old problems of an ongoing nature – ones based on the consistent application of individual rights and mechanisms for voluntary trade and assistance. The best way for government to help when an emergency becomes an ongoing problem is to get out of the way as soon as possible and allow the market to function.

Therefore we:

A. Support the inclusion of strict time limits in legislation that authorizes any "emergency powers".

B. Oppose any "emergency" policies which allow the Governor or mayors to exercise legislative functions beyond the time that the respective legislative bodies can resume operation, or which allow police, military, or administrative officials to exercise judicial functions beyond the time that regular courts can resume operation.

C. Oppose use of "declarations of emergency" as an excuse to impose regulations or taxes that do not relate directly to addressing the actual emergency.