Michael Peroutka — the former League of the South board member who recently donated a million-dollar dinosaur skeleton to the Creation Museum — is also on the ballot for county council in Anne Arundel County Maryland, in today’s Republican primary.
If Peroutka is elected, it seems that he may feel no need to follow the laws of the state of Maryland. In an Institute on the Constitution video released yesterday, Peroutka claims that the Maryland General Assembly is “no longer a valid legislative body” and as a result, none of the laws that it has passed are “legally valid and legally enforceable.”
This is because, Peroutka argues, the Maryland Assembly has passed laws that “violate God’s law” and therefore have violated the Constitution and moved toward “despotism.” The laws that have invalidated Maryland’s entire state government in Peroutka’s estimation are a marriage equality bill, a transgender rights bill, an assault weapons ban and a stormwater runoff fee .
“Is it possible that those who are sworn to uphold the law, such as police and sheriffs and judges and prosecutors, may soon come to the conclusion that the enactments of this body should be ignored because they are based not in law, but in lawlessness?” he asks.
Excerpt from Peroutka’s transcript of the video:
In order for an enactment of a legislative body, such as Maryland’s General Assembly, to be legally valid and legally enforceable, it must satisfy two standards.
Firstly, the enactment must not violate what our Founders, in the Declaration of Independence, called “the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” Another way of saying this is that an enactment must not violate God’s law. (For example, an enactment that allowed the taking of innocent life would violate God’s Commandment “Thou shalt not murder,” and would, therefore, not constitute a law – even if it were enacted and signed.)
Secondly, the enactment must not violate the limits placed on the government by the Constitution of the United States or the constitution of your State. Another way of saying this is that the legislature of Maryland cannot do what it has no authority to do.
When we review the behavior of the Maryland legislature against this background, we are faced with overwhelming evidence that neither of these legal standards is followed by them, or even considered by them on a regular basis.
For example, in recent legislative sessions they have, among other things:
1) Tried to redefine “marriage,”
2) Tried to restrict the right of the people to keep and bear arms, (SB281)
3) Declared that little girls must share bathrooms with older men who are “gender confused,”
4) Placed a tax on the rain.
In earlier times, our Founders referred to such enactments as “pretended legislation.”
When the people of Maryland consider this pattern of behavior, are they justified in declaring that the Maryland legislature is no longer fit to do the job they are sworn to do?
Are they justified in declaring that the Maryland legislature has engaged in what the Declaration characterizes as a “long train of abuses and usurpations,” which is designed to reduce them to despotism?
Is it possible that those who are sworn to uphold the law, such as police and sheriffs and judges and prosecutors, may soon come to the conclusion that the enactments of this body should be ignored because they are based not in law, but in lawlessness?
Indeed what can the people do – what should the people do when those who are entrusted with making and enforcing the law actually become the lawbreakers? What happens when they use the “law” to break the law?