(More) Do As I Say, Not As I Do

As is far too often the case, there are more people telling other people what they should be doing but then refuse to do the same things themselves. The Governor of Michigan, who extended Michigan’s ‘stay at home’ order and told people to limit non-essential travel, but then was caught when he husband called to have their boat ready to go in the water at their summer home about three hours away.

The most recent case is a judge on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Rebecca Dallet.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently heard a case about that state’s ‘stay at home’ order. The case was, in short, brought because the law says that a governor can declare an emergency and issue orders for a period of 60 days, without additional approval from the state legislature. The order extended past that time and so the case went to the Court.

The Court declared the order invalid after 60 days and Dallet offered a dissenting view. To be clear, that is not a problem if she was offering her opinion on the law and how it is written.
Dallet wrote in her dissenting opinion:

“…. would be particularly breathtaking given the testimony yesterday before Congress by one of Our nations top infectious disease experts, Dr. Anthony Fauci. He warned against lifting too quickly stay-at-home orders such as embodied in Emergency Order 28. He cautioned that if the
country reopens too son, it will result in ‘some suffering and death that could be avoided <and> could even set you back on the road to trying to get economic recovery.

Given the admonition of Dr. Fauci, I fail to see the wisdom or the equity in invalidating Emergency Order 28 and, at least for the time being, nothing in its stead.”

So Dallet was saying that because she felt the risk not to ‘stay at home’ was too high to invalidate the Emergency Order.

So let’s set aside, for a moment, that the judge was expressing her opinion on policy and not on the law, which is not the job or responsibility of the Court but of the legislative and executive branches. But she felt strongly enough of the danger to say that the stay-at-home order should remain even if the 60 days had passed.

All that is background to pictures from her friends that have now surfaced on social media. She, her family and some friends were out on their boat on Big Cedar Lake, before the order would have expired. Apparently, she forgot to tell her friends that came along not to post pictures of the outing because now we know that in her opinion she meant to say “It’s dangerous for anyone to venture out and not stay at home. But that does not apply to me and my family and friends, only to others”

So Dallet not only offered very little about the actual law in her opinion, but even her opinion on the wisdom of venturing out was a classic “do as I say, not as I do.” Voters in Wisconsin, where Justices are elected, may want to remember that next time she is up for re-election.

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