State of Emergency

Tyler French
9/8/16

NBC Miami: Tropical Storm Hermine Becomes Official as Gov. Scott Declares State of Emergency

On September 2nd, State of Emergency was declared for parts of Florida and Georgia in the wake of Hurricane Hermine as flooding and tornadoes were possible.  Hermine made landfall early Friday morning as a Category 1 storm with 80 mph winds and resulted in six to nine feet storm surges as well as power outages for more than 325,000 Florida residents.  Governor Rick Scott issued a state of emergency for 42 Florida counties to ensure that the state, regional and local agencies “can work together to meet the needs of our community” he said.  A state of emergency is when a government can suspend or change some functions of the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches in an area which is in imminent danger from either natural or man-made disasters (Wikipedia).

This current event relates to what we’re learning in the “We the People” program because it involves the declaration of a state of emergency, an event that could grant the government the power to take away or change the rights stated in the constitution.  The constitution explicitly provides some of the powers the government has in the event of an emergency.  One of these powers is that Congress gains the right to call forth the military to execute the laws, suppress an insurrection, or repel an invasion.  Also, congress can suspend consideration of writs of habeas corpus and felony charges can be brought on without an indictment.  State governments may also engage in war without Congress’s consent if “actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.”  Although many of these powers may seem concerning, the President is required to specifically identify the provisions activated in a state of emergency, many of which are minor, used to allow state and local governments to operate more efficiently during and after natural disasters.

This current event is important to me because I am experiencing it firsthand, living on
the east coast.  Hurricane Hermine and the flooding that followed swept through my small, coastal town and has devastated many people in the community.  Furniture and debris litter the roadsides as many have been forced to discard nearly all of their belongings.  After I researched the state of emergency issued after the storm, I believed that it would be a highly relatable topic to use for a current event.  State of Emergencies are used across the world in the wake of disasters, however it is important to understand how they can be abused and used as a way for government to overuse its powers and infringe on individual’s rights.

What Do You Think?
What were the positive and negative consequences of a limited national government?

The implementation of a limited national government had both positive and negative consequences.  However, I believe that the positive effects outweighed those of the negative ones in far more ways.  The most important one being that by limiting governmental power, you better secure the natural rights of the people.  The more freedom from government mandates and regulations, the more individual and financial choices for the people.  Also, by limiting the power of the government reduces the chance of those in government from abusing their power or creating a dictatorship.

There were negative consequences in a limited national government.  One of which is that there would be a heightened level of crime with less people to enforce and carry out the laws.  Also, a limited national government caused many problems for the economy because of the issues over all the different currencies in the country.  Limited national government weakened our relationships with other nations as well.  Finally, limiting the power of the government also limits its ability to take action on behalf of the people.

I believe that a limited federal government had more positive consequences than negative ones.  By restricting the power of the government, we better secured the individual rights of the people.  Also, a smaller government is more affordable to operate and therefore less taxes are needed from citizens.  Finally, a smaller, limited national government is easier to keep checks and balances on and avoid the overuse of governmental power.  Although a limited national government had both positive and negative consequences, I believe that overall it is the best way to support individual rights while also limiting the power of the government.

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