Feds DENY Minnesota Gov’s Demand for 'Disaster' Aid After Riots

P. Gardner Goldsmith | July 13, 2020

It might be a momentary anomaly, but it’s important – not for the superficial politics of it, nor for the demonization in which certain politically-minded people will engage to stir-up anger and further hide the sweeping, overpowering destruction of private businesses and homes.

One need not support or oppose Trump to know that any response the president offered to Democrat Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s request for “Federal Disaster Relief” following the recent protests-turned-riots would be depicted as either insufficient or cruel. But this move not only calls attention to how poorly Walz and Minneapolis Mayor, Democrat Jacob Frey, have handled the supposed job of policing and protecting the people that they adopted when they entered office, but also because it fits with the original confederation system of the U.S. Constitution.

As The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports:

Walz asked President Donald Trump to declare a ‘major disaster’ for the state of Minnesota in his request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on July 2. More than 1,500 buildings were damaged by fires, looting and vandalism in the days of unrest that followed Floyd’s May 25 death in Minneapolis police custody, racking up more than $500 million in damages, according to Walz.

And none of that has any constitutional connection to the federal government.

Sure, an argument could be made that there are federal criminal statutes on the books that overstep the bounds between state and federal jurisdiction according to the Constitution. That list is long and could fill books, going all the way back to the dark days of George Washington’s federal military move on the western Pennsylvania whiskey makers.

In fact, according to the Constitution, the only way any President can command troops inside any state is if the legislature of that state or its governor (if the legislature is not in session) request the aid to protect the state’s “republican form of government"  from insurrection or domestic violence. The “power” can be found in Article Four, Clause Four and it reads:

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

Some contemporary commentators have claimed that the President can “invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act”, which is an insult to anyone familiar with the Constitution. The Insurrection Act is not just a reiteration of Article Four, Section Four, it illegitimately EXPANDS on it, adding unilateral power for the President to decide. That’s not in the Constitution, and the so-called “rules” have not been amended to add such a unilateral power.

Which brings us back to Minnesota. If the legislature or Great Governor Walz had spent less time virtue-signaling and more time reading the Constitution they supposedly swore to uphold, they COULD have requested U.S. Executive Branch help to, as the Constitution says, “protect” against “domestic violence.”

But they didn’t, and now it’s too late.

They let the violence explode. They allowed rioters that CNN called “protesters” (an insult to real protesters and to anyone with eyes to see the violence and destruction on their TV screens) to run rampant, even as they sided with leftists across the US and in Washington who portrayed Trump as a thoughtless racist.

Now, these political ne’er-do-wells in Minnesota expect other American taxpayers to bail them out? They expect to dominate the television screens with their screeds and calumnies, accusing Trump of evil for not sending money to rebuild after the destruction THEY were supposed to stop?

As the Star-Tribune notes:

In a letter to President Trump on July 2, Walz had noted more than $15 million in damage and cleanup costs that could be eligible for federal reimbursement. The state has estimated total damages at more than $500 million. Hundreds of buildings were looted, damaged or destroyed by fires in the Twin Cities, primarily in Minneapolis and St. Paul, after (George) Floyd was killed on May 25.

A FEMA rep said:

After a thorough review of Minnesota’s request for a major disaster declaration from extensive fire damage as a result of civil unrest in late May and early June, it was determined that the impact to public infrastructure is within the capabilities of the local and state governments to recover from. The governor has 30 days to appeal that decision.

Which is a surprise, and harkens back, in a tiny way, to the days when people conformed a little more closely to the Constitution, which doesn’t provide any power to send money to anyone for “disaster relief,” be it man-made or natural.

As I have noted for MRCTV, one of the best explications of this principle is the famous 1831 “Not Yours To Give” speech, by Tennessee Congressman David Crockett. In his second term as a member of the U.S. House, Crockett stood to oppose the handout of cash to the widow of a war hero. He noted that the man had been paid for his service according to his enlistment, and that the Congress could discharge no more as “charity” because it was not in their power to do so.

And his explanation came after he, himself, had learned from his own error.

During his first term, he explained, he and fellow politicians in D.C. voted to give money to families burned from their homes in Georgetown. But when he returned to Tennessee, he met a farmer who explained to him that there was no such power, and that such action wasn’t “charitable” because it was tax-funded. Crockett apologized to the man and promised never to do that again. For the widow, Crockett offered to donate some of his own money and asked that the other Congressmen do the same. The bill failed, but his private action succeeded, and the sum was raised through real charity.

This is how people show they care. If Americans really care about the plight of those in the riot-devastated cities of MN (and elsewhere) they can show they do by voluntarily helping, not asking politicians to force others to pay for it.

Donald Trump might not understand this fundamental bedrock rule of the Constitution, but he has given us an opportunity to recall it, and tell others, even as the politicians in these Democrat strongholds protest in new ways. It is imperative that we spread the information, and expose those who would continue to operate outside their oaths.


(Cover Photo: Rosa Pineda)