Massachusetts Telegraphed Governors’ COVID-19 Oppression 70 Years Ago

Brian Camenker at American Thinker

…On August 29, 1949, the USSR successfully detonated its first atomic bomb. Cold War panic ignited across America. There were fears of a Soviet invasion of the United States. The following year, the Massachusetts Legislature reacted by passing the “Civil Defense Act — Chapter 639 of the Acts of 1950.”

The main stated purpose of the law was to give the state government a way to “effectively minimize the damage” from “attack, sabotage, or other hostile action” by “enemies of the United States.” The Legislature also included some other categories of disasters that cause physical damage: “disaster or catastrophe resulting from riot or other civil disturbance; or by fire, flood, earthquake or other natural causes.”

That law gives the governor the power to proclaim a “state of emergency” throughout Massachusetts. During the state of emergency, the governor is given extraordinary powers — and can supersede existing statutes if he chooses. Those powers, which are broadly listed in the statute, are quite frightening, and many appear unconstitutional. They are clearly laid out to deal with enemy attacks, riots, etc. For example, cooperation with military and naval forces is described. Nothing in the law addresses or implies public health concerns or pandemics.…

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