Safety... At What Cost?

"The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances. No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences, was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government." —United States Supreme Court, in Ex Parte Milligan 71 U.S. 2 (1866)


Model State Emergency Health Powers Act


This battle must be fought on the state level. Federal legislation is not applicable to the several states, except when passed by the legislatures of those states.

Being fully aware of this reality, the Center for Law and the Public's Health at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have teamed up with the National Governors Association, The National Conference of State Legislatures, The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the National Association of City and County Health Officers, and the National Association of Attorneys General to develop model legislation that state legislatures would be likely pressured into passing.

This model is very comprehensive and includes guidelines for Governors to issue an executive order, declaring a state of public health emergency by which special "emergency powers" can be invoked, including the mobilization of organized militia.

To quote from the documents own introduction: "In the wake of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, our nation has come to the realization that our government's foremost responsibility is to protect the health, safety, and well being of its citizens. New and emerging dangers — including emergent, and resurgent infectious diseases, and incidents of civilian mass casualties — pose serious and immediate threats to the population. A renewed focus on the prevention, detection, management, and containment of public health emergencies is thus called for."

The model includes a provision for tracking prescription drugs, and requiring pharmacists to report any "unusual" trends in either prescriptions, or pharmacy visits.

Other topics covered by the MSEHPA:

We must become active participants in the state governmental process. If we waste our time on the federal legislature, we will lose the war at home.

We have the full document here, in pdf format. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, it is required to read the document, but is free of charge. Click on the button below to download.


Click here to download Acrobat Reader!    Model State Emergency Health Powers Act


Safety Index | War Index | Issues Index | CDR Home