Tyranny as a Peril of Pandemic—The California ABC Power Grab
Due Process: It’s the concept and rule that when the state or its agencies or representatives takes legal action against a person or organization, it is required to follow the law in doing so, which includes providing an avenue for the accused to dispute the charges against them. It’s a pretty important concept and in America represents the difference between tyranny and rule by the people.
So why is the California Alcohol Beverage Commission in the process of suspending due process and grabbing power under cover of the COVID-19 pandemic to shut down any alcohol business for no other reason than it wants to? And why are they proposing that this power be granted to the agencies indefinitely?
These are questions generated by the announcement by the California ABC on May 11 that it proposes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to strip California businesses of their due process rights when faced with accusations of violations of the alcohol beverage code.
It’s a power grab by the California ABC attempted under cover of the COVID-19 emergency.
You can read the details in this article written by Hinman & Carmichael’s John Hinman in The Booze Rules blog.
What seems to be the bottom line driving the California ABC’s attempt at stripping businesses of their due process rights is their feeling of being burdened by businesses exercising those rights and the time it takes to put up with businesses defending themselves. I sympathize. Who wouldn’t want the ability to do as they want, unrestrained by the complications of the rule of law?
At this point numerous state and national trade associations such as The Wine Institute, Family Winemakers of California, the Music and Cultural Association and the National Association of Wine Retailers, are submitting comments to the California Office of Administrative Law, which will evaluate the ABC’s request for tyrannical rule over California wineries, restaurants, retailers, distillers, brewers and all others that sell alcohol in one way or another.
The perils of pandemic are obvious. We watch from our homes as Americans die at the hands of the unseen virus. The related peril is that under cover of the health and safety emergency caused by the CoronaVirus, important rights are stolen away by those who see an opportunity to enhance their power with an excuse to be working to preserve the health and safety of us all.