Face-Coverings and the Color of Law

The ”Color of Law” is a legal concept. According to Section 242 of Title 18, it “makes it a crime for a person acting under the color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.” This applies when a law enforcement officer, judge, city council member, county commissioner, governor, etc. exceeds his or her authority to restrict the freedoms of American citizens contrary to the US Constitution.

For example, by law we enjoy rights/liberties of expression, movement and association that may not be infringed without due process in a court. Those who have sworn an oath to our constitution are required to obey it. If legislators/judges/law enforcement officers exceed their authority, they are acting not under law but “color of law,” and are subject to fines and imprisonment.

A requirement for the public to wear a surgical or fabric “face-covering” to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (or any virus) is an order under “color of law.” Why? There are no peer-reviewed scientific studies – none – that indicate that “face-coverings” significantly reduce the spread of viruses in the home, waiting rooms, sick rooms or in public. Rather, the only peer-reviewed scientific study emphatically states that they do not reduce the spread of the virus and warns against wearing them. The World Health Organizations current guidance (June 2020) states “Many countries have recommended the use of fabric masks/face coverings for the general public. At the present time, the widespread use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not yet supported by high quality or direct scientific evidence…”.

So, if the science community testifies that surgical and fabric masks do not work, why does the CDC, certain state Health Departments and certain governors tell us to wear them? Because all are politicians or political appointees. Nowhere have we seen any of these politicians appeal to scientific studies. They simply point to each other. In fact, when the infamous Dr. Fauci (a political appointee) was asked if he would conduct a peer-reviewed scientific study on the effectiveness of face-coverings, he declined.

I have a few questions for our legislators and their medical advisors:

Q: The scientific community concluded that surgical and fabric masks do not work and may be dangerous. Do you have any scientific evidence to refute this?

Q: The maker of surgical masks state that they won’t provide any protection against COVID-19. Do you have any scientific evidence to refute this?

Q: Many fabric masks have built in exhalation valves that blow breath directly into the air. Will these masks be allowed? Is law enforcement expected to fine people wearing them? Why or why not?

Q: I grew up being told to cough into my elbow or to turn my head. Are you saying that the community is considering mandating face-coverings to replace coughing into our elbows?

Q: Do our medical people wear fabric face-coverings into rooms with COVID-19 patients? Why or why not?

Q: Weren’t we told that wearing masks was to “flatten the curve” to prevent overwhelming our medical system? Is our local medical system overwhelmed?

Q: Why would we be required to wear face-coverings with no technical specifications? Does it matter what material is used? What size weave must the fabric be to prevent COVID-19 exposure? But then of course, it can’t.

So, please understand, if people are more comfortable in a mask, by all means wear a mask. If people have elderly or immune compromised family members and want to err on the side of caution, certainly wear a mask. However, until our city, county, state, or medical politicians produce a good scientific reason for wearing “face-coverings,” I will not comply, and I will pursue my legal rights regarding “Color of Law.”

Chaplain Rob Sugg

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