Commentary: Delaware governor has stolen the legislature’s power

By Greg Callaway

To the honorable senators and representatives of the state of Delaware: Concerning the mandates created by Gov. John Carney concerning COVID-19 and being enforced as if they were law by various statewide law enforcement agencies: For a law to be constitutionally created at any level of government within this republic, it first requires passage by both houses of the Legislature and then be signed into law or vetoed by the executive branch of government. 

Ladies and gentlemen of the Delaware Legislature, these COVID-19 quarantine mandates have been horrendous trespasses of the inalienable, self-evident rights penned in the Declaration of Independence, as well as property rights, commerce rights, and even those within the leisure of the people.

You may believe these are extraordinary times requiring like action, but this is the responsibility of the state Legislature and not the governor. Even the fathers of this state knew that when they adopted Article 1, Section 10 within our state Constitution’s Bill of Rights, Suspension of Laws by General Assembly: “No power of suspending laws shall be exercised but by authority of the General Assembly.” They were aware that any emergency affecting this state would best be handled by the General Assembly instead of one person. They had emergencies to deal with themselves, most notably waging war with the British superpower of the day.

The silence of our current General Assembly has been deafening throughout what is numerically proving to be a national overreaction. Many of us have come to the conclusion that this “crisis” is political and not medical. Regardless of your opinion on that, it is you as a member of our state Legislature who should have been directing the suspension of laws and not the governor issuing mandates by unauthorized executive powers.

I’m not an attorney, I’m just a simple worker who happens to be a patriot of this republic who reads. Furthermore, there was a time I took pretty much the same oath you did when you took office to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution from all enemies. I’m sure yours included a requirement regarding our state Constitution as well. The difference between the oaths? Mine has never expired and it required my life if necessary to protect this state and our nation on a field of battle.

The battle that we face now – for our liberties, prosperity and, in general, our rights – is a battle you for which you failed to even show up!

I understand that you’re lawmakers and not soldiers but according to the articles of the state Constitution, you deserted your posts in a time of crisis and don’t have authority to delegate power to the governor during any emergency arising in the state of Delaware. Even if the governor can declare a state of emergency, only the Legislature has the authority to suspend laws. In short, you tell the executive how far they can go, not the other way around.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the judicial branch handles cases where citizens have been harassed, threatened and bullied with unlawful Carney mandates, since you never took the time to vote on them.

The constitutions of the United States of America and of the First State are the supreme laws of our land. The governor has overstepped his authority and the state Legislature has failed to carry out its responsibilities and duties, abandoning constituents.

Getting back into session in a virtual manner on Tuesday is a start. You don’t have to be there, but you do have to be present.

Greg Callaway lives in Middletown,

Editor’s note: The General Assembly will reconvene virtually. The House of Representatives will meet virtually Tuesday, May 26 at 2 p.m. and the Senate will meet virtually Wednesday, May 27 at 4:30 p.m.