Opinion: Our Governor Is Trampling On Our Rights | Aaron Neuman

Let’s cut straight to the chase: we are currently witnessing the greatest public governmental abuse of power ever in the history of the United States. There’s simply no two ways about it.

When lockdown orders went into effect this March, there was a real, legitimate reason for them to be put into place. Our elected leaders could not take the chance of Covid-19 overwhelming the healthcare infrastructure. That made sense; anyone who is ill, whether with coronavirus or something else, should be able to get on a ventilator. And it was the duty of our politicians to ensure that patients could get the best Healthcare possible. That I could swallow.

In more recent weeks, those concerns faded away. New infections and hospitalizations plummeted, causing many to question why so many restrictions remained in place. But the governor warned that lifting restrictions too quickly could result in a massive spike in new hospitalizations, undoing the positive downward trends he attributed to lockdown measures. Having more data at this point showing that Covid-19 isn’t quite as deadly to most people as originally feared, it was more difficult to swallow this explanation, but I did it anyway.

But now we’re beyond the looking glass. After the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by a white cop who knelt on his neck, protests broke out throughout the US. Thousands of angry, hurt people took to the streets, demanding an end to the discrimination and aggressions suffered by blacks every day. I’m with the protesters – they’ve experienced pain for all their lives, and in the 21st century, we must do better and move quickly towards an egalitarian society. We’re still a long ways away from that.

But then something inexplicable happened. Politicians, the same ones who demand that we not gather in houses of worship over fear of coronavirus cases spiking, suddenly came out in support of large protests taking place. So the very people who aren’t letting us gather in moderately sized groups in a church or synagogue because coronavirus might spread, are perfectly okay with hundreds, even thousands, of protesters to gather together.

What’s the rationale behind that?

When asked about it, Governor Murphy said, “It’s one thing to protest what day nail salons are opening. It’s another to come out in peaceful protest overwhelmingly for someone who was murdered before our eyes.”

Okay, let’s get this straight.

The US Constitution guarantees the right to peacefully assemble. Due to a pandemic, that right was temporarily suspended.

But wait! It’s only suspended if you’re doing something that the governor doesn’t approve of, like going to a house of worship. But if you’re joining in a protest, it’s all good. Think of the disconnect in that thought process.

To be clear, people have every right to protest the killing of George Floyd. They have every right to be angry, every right to demand change. And they have every right to assemble – the Constitution guarantees that freedom.

Now, how on Earth is a governor allowed to pick and choose when that right is suspended and when it isn’t? Are people who are protesting less at risk of spreading Covid-19? No.

Are massive gatherings of protesters more likely to spread the virus than a small group of individuals in a house of worship? Almost definitely. But somehow, the governor thinks he has the right to decide that because he agrees with the protests, they can have their Constitutional rights while worshippers can’t.

This is the greatest governmental overreach of our lifetimes, and an embarrassingly public trampling of the Constitution of the United States of America. And somehow we’re expected to swallow that too.


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There are 35 Comments to "Opinion: Our Governor Is Trampling On Our Rights | Aaron Neuman"

  • Will u run 4 prez says:

    Amazing I am behind you all the way

  • G Washington says:

    “I’m with the protesters”
    I did not finish reading your drasha. Stay with the “protesters”.

  • anonymous says:

    Why are you writing articles about this? Every thinking person knows that it’s hypocrisy. What are you trying to add?

  • The Commenter says:

    President Trump – Open Shuls… shut down the protests – the ones that are unlawful.

    Governor Murphy – Shut the shuls – let thousands protest together.

    You decide which politicians to vote in and what party to support. It’s all a package with the free money.

  • Nu says:

    Maybe our local politicians can make some noise about this…

  • Sam says:

    These politicians area a bunch of frauds. Do they think the virus will leave all ‘protesters’ alone? But hey, I didn’t vote for this governor. All of you out there who did should be seriously rethinking your voting habits by now.

    • Anonymous says:

      I didn’t vote at all. I wasn’t going to vote for the vaad recommendation and I wasn’t schlepping out just to submit a blank ballot. I do think that we all need to rethink the voting bloc thing. I don’t believe it’s serving our town.

      • me says:

        Please start with yourself! I personally voted against many of the vaad backed candidates. As soon as they see many people voting against their choices they will stop backing the mishuga’im.

        If you dont vote you are backing the bad guys.

  • Y says:

    Not saying he is right or wrong but how would you like his job,With the tremendous responsiblity and decisions he has to make in these challenging times..Very easy to be a monday morning quaterback .Stop kvetching and be happy your healthy

    • Seriously? says:

      That’s a really dopey thing to say. No, I wouldn’t want his job- but I didn’t campaign and beg for it. He asked for this amount of responsibility, and he has been abusing and over-reaching his power over the past few months.
      People shouldn’t complain?
      There is a reason that the job exists, and the people who asked to have it and got put there have a responsibility to do what’s best for their constituents.
      No, the job isn’t easy, but what’s definite is that nobody want pigs in power.

  • SpellCheck says:

    Perhaps, if Daas Torah allows, and permits can be secured, it’s time for a peaceful, loot-free protest march to decry the death of Mr Civil Liberties.
    For whatever reason, only certain minorities have the need to (violently) vent frustration – and that’s just wrong.

  • freddy says:

    I will never vote for a democrat again . No matter who tells me to and no matter how much free money they promise.

  • anonymous says:

    President Trump –
    I am the law and order President… looting and riots together with peaceful protests throughout all 50 states due to an officer killing a black.
    Open the shuls ….while I violently shutdown a peaceful protest to walk to a church to hold a bible for a photo op.
    Only I can manage the economy … while 30 million people are out of work.
    Only I can protect you … while over 100,00 people died due to my slowness in reacting and not listening to my advisers.

    • Sam says:

      Is Trump resposible for the COVID virus? Is he responsible for the state shutdowns? And exactly what is it that his advisors told him to do that would’ve helped? Are you aware that almost everything that all the ‘experts’ were saying in the early days of the virus was wrong?

      • anonymous says:

        He is responsible for his lack of leadership in response to the COVID virus. Is that hard to understand?
        He needed to immediately order and ensure that there is enough equipment to save American citizens and hospital workers lives.
        There were people advising him that he needs to acknowledge the truth regarding the pandemic and get tough.
        HE NEEDED TO LEAD and tell the US that a pandemic that will kill people is coming and we need to do everything we can to protect ourselves.Instead he minimized and discounted it. “One Chinese dude…”.”Stop Chinese people from flying to America. ” The summer will come and the heat will kill the virus.

        He doesn’t get any credit for the savings of lives that the states shutdown caused.

        • JustWondering says:

          Your criticism is extremely disingenuous, and a complete re-writing of facts. President Trump shut down flights from China when everyone from the WHO to Dr Fauci, to Nancy Pelosi were tlling veryone it wasn’t necessary and their was nothing to fear.

          He appointed VP Pence to run a task force that was effective and worked quickly. As far as securing PPE, there was a limited amount he could do when the U.S. does not have the production capacity, and China was sabotaging the supply line (yes that happened, China cancelled hundreds of air cargo routes, and still has them cancelled).

          He struck deals with American companies to boost manufacturing, but increasing manufacturing takes time, machines need to be assembled, supply chains need to be set up etc.

        • justsayin.... says:

          The States are supposed to have the emergency equipment Not demand it from the Federal Government, Remember when the President said he was in charge and the States told him NO! The President was told by the Democratic States he was in violation of the 10th Amendment. He stopped travel from China and was called a racist. New York and California begged for help, he had the 2 hospital ships set sail in 10 days. NY only used 100 beds out of the 1000 beds available from the USNS Hope. Ask the NY mayor why he sold all the ventilators, then blamed the Feds for him not having enough. The same with the State He wanted 4000 ventilators when he had 400 in storage not being used.
          There is more….you should get the facts before you spew the Democratic talking points.

        • Sam says:

          Yes, it’s hard to understand exactly what he could have done differently. Are you minimizing the effect of his travel ban? Why do you assume that the state lockdown (which destroyed their economies) were effective and the travel bans weren’t? You sound like someone who is full of hate, and I hope that is not the case.

  • Ahavas Yisroel says:

    Back in December and January, when they tried to eliminate the religious exemption for vaccinations, and the governor said he would support it, we warned this could happen to anything religious related. Obviously we did not know this pandemic was coming, but now we see this rings true. It is important to stand up right away against these things, especially against liberal politicians like our Governor, they do not care about the constitution or our religious rights. Another reason we should all be thinking about moving to the Holy Land ASAP.

    • Grudeh Mechel says:

      Are you kidding. The government is Israel is 100 times more anti religious

      • Sam says:

        I’m not sure about that – depends on which party is in power. But they are definitely more capitalistic and have more survival sense than the government of NJ.

    • JustWondering says:

      You are comparing apples to bricks. There is no Jewish Religious reason for exemption of vaccines. you want to make a claim that it violates your civil liberties, than go for it, but it has nothing to do with religion

  • ThinkingJew says:

    Agree with the writer all the way. No justifications for this double standard.

  • me says:

    Please start with yourself! I personally voted against many of the vaad backed candidates. As soon as they see many people voting against their choices they will stop backing the mishuga’im.

    If you dont vote you are backing the bad guys.

  • Murph The Smurf says:

    Murphy and all the other Democrat Governors would like to control the population to the point of total dependence on them. By forcefully taking steps to eliminate the idea that the self-evident Truths that God is the ultimate law-maker and guarantor of civil rights and fundamental freedoms for all, and attempting to rewrite and even eliminate the Constitution of the USA, which is predicated on that, they are obviously hell-bent on destroying not only our rights but our very lives in any way they can. Let me assure these political usurpers and criminals that their plans will never materialize. Babylon has fallen, Greece has fallen, Rome has fallen, Persia has fallen, the Ottomans have fallen but the USA will stand, because of our Father in Heaven. Governors, Senators, Congressmen, and Judges, don’t be on the wrong side of history. The price you will pay will be unfathomable and damage you cause will be Judged by the Creator, who is intervening as I write this. Amen.

  • ANON21 says:

    Stop blaming stupid politicians goyim who don’t know anything. I don’t expect them to value shuls more than protests. I blame our askonim who should know better and finally get something done for us on the political level. And if they have in fact been working “as hard as they can” to get something done then they should find a new line of work because all their efforts amounted to nothing. We’re still stuck with this nonsense

  • Ahavas Yisroel says:

    Grudeh Mechel, some may be but they allowed minyanim almost right away when they lifted their lockdown. Eretz Yisroel is our only homeland, it’s the land Hashem have us, we are buying time here in Galus, Hashem is sending another message to all of us, we will never be comfortable here.

  • Lkwdguy says:

    Anonymous, apparently you’re watching too much CNN these days, trump is not shutting down protests, he just wants the violence stopped. The police themselves said they did not break up the protest on orders from trump, of course the liberals twisted it that way. What’s wrong with a photo op showing the country that g-d is who we trust in and not politicians and whoever else thinks theyre in charge including himself. I think that was a humble gesture on his part. His big talk is only to counter the bias coming from the left. I’m Jewish so Why is a funeral of a close blood relative that I personally knew and am in terrible pain for losing any less worthy than an excuse for a protest -some are peaceful, too many are not- for someone that happens to have the same color skin as me who I wouldn’t even know died if It wasn’t for police brutality and the valid exposure of the incident. Racism is a major issue, but I will not think better of you or treat you better if you loot my town. change is necessary but It only makes me want to segregate and stay far away from you when you act like this toward me. Ok, who started first? Good argument. Not. Jews were the first recorded slaves in history and are still -in America- treated worse than anyone else by guess who? The people that should emphasize most with our plight. We all want the same, to live and let live. When was the last time someone acted aggressive toward you and you said, ok ok let’s be friends and behave. Acting aggressive only works when you need to protect yourself or others which is where police brutality usually comes into play. Not too much but enough to protect. This reminds me of pharaoh and hitting the big frog. This violence is just making it worse for the black community. This will not lead to better treatment by fellow citizens. The left will support you but they don’t control my treatment or respect for you. Maybe you’ll get more free stuff, but isn’t that the thing jews are stereotyped for going after? Act to others as you want to be treated. looting and even just using counterfeit $20 bills -as much as it doesn’t warrant anyone’s death- is not going to make me think fondly of you and feel that you are a valuable asset to society. Jews are accused of taking taking taking, Jewish organizations have helped non-Jews by far more than any other organization toward people outside their circles. The officer was fired and charged with murder which will probably land him a long time behind bars. What more do they want? Do they want the death penalty? Do they want that for black murderers and rapists as well? If you don’t want a double standard then don’t have a double standard. Let’s start with that. In truth, I believe the same goes for Jews. Don’t have a double standard. Want to be respected? Act with respect. I personally have never experienced outright “anti-semitism” without doing something to provoke it. There are haters, a lot of them, but even those will treat us with respect many times if they feel treated the same way. Some have a short fuse but that doesn’t make my arrogance and disrespect any more acceptable. I’ve heard non-Jews say “you’re supposed to act better than that“ or “you should know better”, They’re absolutely right in most cases. Knockout punches, looting, cursing etc. is not anti-semitism or hate it’s total unwillingness to follow the law if there will be no repercussions. Hence the spike in black crime after the bail reform. Jews fight back less so we are prime targets for black violence. There’s a word for it, BULLY, nobody likes bullies.

  • teacher says:

    Greatest abuse of power in history? What about Lincoln’s call for 75,000 troops to invade the sovereign states? What about his suspension of habeas corpus (that is a big one)?

    What about the burglary of the opposition party offices in the Watergate Hotel and Daniel Ellsberg’s psychologist’s office.psychologist’s?

    What about the involvement of members of Grant’s cabinet in the Credit Mobilier scandal?

    I am so tired of people who comment on current affairs and do not know their history in-depth.

    • roger says:

      YOU forgot the biggest of them ALL!!!! What about george washington chopping down the cherry tree! You call yourself an historian??!!??

    • Sam says:

      You seem to only know one side of American history. I see from your rejection of Lincoln that you’re a bit of a fanatical libertarian, ok that’s fine. But what do you have to say about Obama’s denial of state’s rights? Further, didn’t the southern states secede from the Union first?

  • A Yid In LKWD says:

    Well, on shabbos we can have a mass minyan while walking together with the protesters.
    Also, in Lakewood at least I don’t think the police are breaking up gatherings anymore.

  • Hardly says:

    Hardly the biggest abuse of power. Lincoln illegally declared martial law in Baltimore and had cannons pointed at its downtown.
    He closed newspapers and arrested editors and held them without trial. Lincoln went so far as to ban wearing red and white.
    That’s real abuse of power.

  • Anti-riots says:

    These guys are crazy why should the police let them protest like this, and they have no clue why they are rioting “liulei nishmas” George Floyd,
    ( who no one knows who he is)??????????

  • The Gonzalez Factor says:

    I agree with the overall sentiment; many expressed as such. I disagree with your Constitutional philosophy because it does not reflect the dynamics of Constitutional law. I also disagree with your terming this the greatest abuse of governmental power.

    As the Supreme Court noted in Smith v Oregon from 1990, First Amendment rights do not trump laws that are neutral and generally applicable. Here, Murphy closed down large gathering across the board due to Covid 19 worries. That was neutral and generally applicable. Therefore, the right to assemble or the right o free exercise of religion would not trump Murphy’s order.

    The issue is whether there is a legitimate reason to allow large protests. If the Covid 19 scare is still in effect, large protests should be disallowed, regardless of the cause. Such protests would still be covered under the Covid 19 ban. By allowing the protests while disallowing other issues, then First Amendment rights have been trampled because the previously Constitutionally acceptable ban now has an unacceptable exception.