Patriots should demand citation of legal authority for extraordinary actions

Pratt on Texas - copyright Pratt on Texas all rights reservedRick, via Facebook, asked: Where does the authority come from to close businesses?

This is exactly what I have been saying true Citizens should be demanding from all officials who take action at every level: Cite the exact statutes and regulatory rules which allow your action in each situation in which you have taken an extraordinary action.**

Take the wording of Gov. Abbott’s emergency order as evidence that state government does not have a clear legal right to issue a blanket order closing all restaurant dining facilities.  Order number two in Executive Order GA-08 reads “… people shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors…”

Note that the order does not force closure of these places, it directly orders you, as an individual not to eat inside or visit these places. It would be easier simply to order the closure of such from an enforcement standpoint but that was not done indicating a concern over the legality of such.*

Executive Order GA-08 reads “… people shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors…”

It will take true patriot courage to publicly press hard for government officials locally and elsewhere to attempt to force them to do what they should to begin with: Cite on every extraordinary order the legal basis justifying that order.

Why will it take courage? Because most of your peers, friends, associates, and neighbors are living in fear and choose to place blind hope in politicians, or any other perceived authority, to save them. This is human nature and why, as Andrew Napolitano reminded us recently, “Throughout history, free people have been willing to accept the devil’s bargain of trading liberty for safety when they are fearful.”

In other words, many around you are prisoner to their fear and cannot recognize your efforts as one to ultimately protect them, instead they’ll see you as a troublemaker or worse.

By the way, that’s how George Washington and Continental Army was seen by many in the 1770’s – even in their own home cities and towns.


* The State Commissioner of Public Health’s order could be considered to have closed dining rooms except that the language in it is again aimed at citizens and does not even use “shall” but instead uses “should.”

**A note to the stupid/ignorant who often do not understand language and send me all types of communications claiming I’ve said or written something I have not: Nothing in this suggests we should not obey lawful orders and actions. Also, I have said in a previous commentary that we, at times, may need to bend even for an order or action that may not be strictly lawful. The point, likely to always be lost on the empty-headed, is that our job as citizens in a republic is to demand officials act lawfully and to do that one must keep watch and call out failures to do so. Otherwise you are not fulfilling your proper role as a citizen in a self-governing republic.


  1. Beth Pratt says

    Well said.

  2. Jacobo Sanchez says

    Hello Mr. Pratt.
    Thank you for your willingness to put your thoughts out there for consumption and discussion. YOU will certainly come under fire.

    Many are using the fragility of the aged as reason enough to stay indoors so as not to put them in danger. Hence, most people are practicing social distancing and other measures to perhaps not allow a severe spread of the virus. What are your thoughts on this?

    I agree by the way that officials be asked on what legal ground they have the authority to enact extraordinary measures. My thought is that you are advocating for transparency and for legal basis so that nothing is done that will be almost impossible to undo, legislatively I mean.

    I will begin to post on FaceBook these thoughts and perhaps a “firestorm” will be started asking these questions to keep our leaders honest, in so much as that can be accomplished.

    Keep up the good fight Mr. Pratt. We need not have patience with erosion of freedom. We should question everything because that is our right and duty as citizens in a free society.

    Good night to you sir. May you remain Corona Free and may your work continue on the radio.

    Jacobo Sanchez
    Lubbock, Texas

    • Pratt on Texas says

      The nice thing Jacobo is that if fire comes my way I am ready to return it, both figuratively and literally. Thank you for your comment.

  3. Dave Burke says

    Shall falls somewhere between should and will, when you make a directive and say shall it sounds like you’re leaving yourself an out. And if anyone’s asking I think we are going way overboard with all this.

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