On November 9th, 2020, Governor Gary Herbert issued an executive order/state of emergency. I feel there are certain aspects of the order that are unconstitutional. In the order, there are two aspects that do not end when the state of emergency ends, which are outside the reach of what an executive order can do. One of those is the mask mandate and the legalities of it.
In his speech, he stated that the mask mandate extends indefinitely, past November 23rd, when the executive order ends. According to Utah Code section 53-2a-206, “A state of emergency may not continue for longer than 30 days unless extended by a joint resolution of the Legislature, which may also terminate a state of emergency by joint resolution at any time.” I can’t seem to grasp how the mask mandate is constitutional after November 23rd, due to the fact that it would not be within the powers of the governor to enact and enforce a mask mandate outside of a state of emergency.
The second thing that appears unconstitutional to me is section 2e of the updated state of emergency. It states that, “Beginning as soon as possible, but no later than January 1, 2021, a public or private institution of higher education, including a degree-granting institution or technical college, shall require each individual age 18 years or older who is enrolled as a student of the institution of higher education and who lives in on-campus housing or attends at least one in-person class provided by the institution of higher education to obtain a diagnostic test approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to determine current COVID-19 infection each week.” This appears unconstitutional under Utah Code section 53-2a-206, as well as it appears to be an infringement of the rights that are outlined in the Utah Constitution in Article 1, Sections 1, 14, and 25, and Amendments 4 and 10 of the U.S. Constitution. I would argue that requiring tests from those parties, or any parties, is an unreasonable search and seizure, as a nose is a very important part of a person. A third aspect that appears unconstitutional is in section 2b of the order where it states that, “An event host of a social gathering shall: i. require each individual attending the social gathering to wear a face mask, including in an area of ingress or egress; ii. require at least six feet of physical distance between individuals from separate households who attend the social gathering, including in an area of ingress or egress, unless the event host received a waiver pursuant to State Public Health Order 2020-19 or State Public Health Order 2020-20; iii. post conspicuous signage at the social gathering that: A. lists COVID-19 symptoms; B. asks individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to stay home; and C. provides notice of face mask and physical distancing requirements; and iv. complete and implement the Event Management Template provided by the Department.” I feel this is unconstitutional because it is telling us what we can and can’t do on our own private property, even if it doesn’t affect our neighbors. I feel it is limiting the freedom of assembly, as outlined in Article 1, sections 1 and 25 of the Utah Constitution and Amendment 1 of the U.S. Constitution.
While some may disagree with my thoughts on this particular mandates and other mandates, these are my feelings. I would like you all to feel free to share your experiences and feelings with mask mandates in the comments section! Good luck on your own journey finding to express your thoughts and view concerning the goverment!