The Atlas Society Asks Bobbie Anne Cox

January 25, 2024 00:59:09
The Atlas Society Asks Bobbie Anne Cox
The Atlas Society Presents - The Atlas Society Asks
The Atlas Society Asks Bobbie Anne Cox

Jan 25 2024 | 00:59:09

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Show Notes

Join CEO Jennifer Grossman for the 189th episode of The Atlas Society Asks, where she interviews Attorney Bobbie Anne Flower Cox and her efforts at the heart of a historic challenge to New York Governor Kathy Hochul's unconstitutional "Isolation and Quarantine Procedures" regulation.

Attorney Bobbie Anne Cox is a New York civil rights attorney who recently won a historic lawsuit against New York Governor Kathy Hochul and the NYS Department of Health, striking down their unconstitutional “Isolation and Quarantine Procedures” regulation—and now battles the state’s appeal. With 25 years of practicing law, Cox writes for her Knowledge is Power Substack and as a Fellow at the Brownstone Institute.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: You. Hi, everyone, and welcome to the 189th episode of the Atlas Society asks. My name is Jennifer Anju Grossman. Everyone calls me Jag. I'm the CEO of the Atlas Society. We are the leading nonprofit organization introducing young people to the ideas of Ayn Rand, often in fun, unconventional ways, like animated videos, epic novels, even music videos. Now, today, we are joined by attorney Bobby Ann Cox. Before I even begin to introduce our guests, I want to remind all of you who are watching us on Zoom, Instagram, Twitter x, Facebook, LinkedIn, or YouTube. Go ahead, start typing your question into the comment section and we'll get to as many of them as we can. Our guest today, Bobby Ann Cox, is a New York civil rights attorney who recently won a historic lawsuit against New York governor Kathy Hoekel and the New York State Department of Health, striking down their unconstitutional isolation and quarantine procedures. Regulation now battles the state's appeal. With 25 years practicing law, Cox writes for her knowledge is power substac and is a fellow at the Brownstone Institute. Bobby Ann, thanks for joining us. [00:01:21] Speaker B: Yes, thanks for having me on. I appreciate it. [00:01:24] Speaker A: So our audience always loves to learn a little bit about our guest's backstory. So, going back even before your legal career, what shaped the young girl who would grow up to be the David who would go up against the Goliath of the New York legal and political establishment and fight for property rights and civil rights? Any early influences or books or ideas that shaped who you would grow up to be? [00:01:58] Speaker B: Yes, I think really my background in my youth as a competitive figure skater really shaped who I am today. And I was for many years, growing up, competing at many competitions, both locally and across the country. And I was a single skater, and I really excelled at it because I put so much time and energy, competitive figure skaters who are serious about the sport. We train six days a week, sometimes four or 5 hours a day on the ice, and then you have off ice training with stretching, ballet, pilates, dance, all these other things. So that was my life for many years. So I think that type of focus and dedication and determination really shaped who I would be as an adult, because for those formative years, you set a goal, and once you hit that goal, you set the next goal, and then once you hit that goal, you set the next goal. So it really was a very powerful part of who I became and who I am today. [00:03:22] Speaker A: That's in terms of the work ethic and the dedication. But in terms of being drawn to law and particularly your area of it, were there lawyers in your family, or was there a sense or an experience that just made you really passionate about right and wrong and standing up for people whose rights were being violated? [00:03:47] Speaker B: Yeah, there weren't any lawyers in my family. I am the first one. But I think where that came from was also something in my skating childhood past. I mean, I started skating when I was probably six years old, and I was competing by age nine. And then I didn't stop until I was 18. So it was many years. And as a single skater, it's just you. It's just you against everybody else. There's no partner, there's no team. And so I was very used to only relying on myself and depending on myself and pushing myself. And so when it came to Covid in March of 2020, when the New York state government, the governor at the time was Andrew Cuomo, they basically took all our rights away. They basically said in March of 2020, okay, we're shutting the schools. Everybody locked down. Of course, they lied and said it was two weeks to flatten the curve. It was months. In New York state, children did not go back into school physically in some parts of New York state for two years. So there was an automatic desperation from the people of New York when March 2020 rolls around and the government starts taking their rights away. And when I saw all of this pain and suffering, it wasn't coming from COVID it was coming from what the government was doing to its people. I think that part of me, of being self driven, being able to stand on my own, rely on myself, and not need to have a team supporting me or not need to have a partner on the ice with me, I think that's what helped me to stand up, because when I reached out to other attorneys about this isolation and quarantine regulation and asked them to help me with the case, nobody were on your own. [00:06:11] Speaker A: Yeah. Well, I think one of the things, for those of us who have been fighting this for a long time, one of the things that was the most appalling and disheartening was that so many people were clamoring for the lockdowns, were clamoring for their rights to be taken away, and were embracing all of these kinds of restrictions. But was there something, if we go back to March of 2020, when people are like, oh, it's just going to be two weeks, was there anything in your previous background that made you say, no, there's something wrong with this? Yeah. [00:06:56] Speaker B: So my law practice, I've been practicing law for 25 years now. My practice before March of 2020 really focused on property tax valuations. So I would represent private owners of property, whether it was a commercial property, a residential property, industrial property, whatever, and I would sue the local government on their behalf if I felt that the government was overstepping and, in essence, overtaxing them, overvaluing their property in order to get more taxes out of them unjustly and unfairly. So that was the basis of my real estate law practice for two decades. And so I was used to suing the government. I had never sued the state of New York, but I had sued many villages and towns and counties and school districts in this other capacity. So I knew when the government says two weeks for anything, it is never going to happen in two weeks. I don't care what it is. I've been suing the government my whole career. They're very slow. There's a lot of red tape, a lot of bureaucratic malarkey. So I knew it was not going to be two weeks. And I was able to project and predict, and I was telling people from the very start, for those who were getting appreciative, as you said, they were appreciative of the lockdowns. They felt like they were being protected by the government. I was trying to warn them, this is not going to be two weeks. This is going to be a very long time. I just know from my law practice before, when the government takes a power, they don't just easily hand it back over. You have to fight them to get it back. [00:09:01] Speaker A: Indeed. And you'd also have the experience if other people were saying, oh, this is for the common good, that they're trying to protect us. They're doing this in our interest, that when you had instances of clients who had their property, sometimes they had all of their life savings, their equity tied up in their property, that the government was coming in and trying to take advantage of people and didn't really necessarily care if they could afford these kinds of valuations. So I could see how that could give you a little bit of, let's say, skepticism about whether or not the government was actually acting in the best interest of its citizens in that case. So then we started this process, this two weeks, which didn't end. I was in California for the lockdowns, which were also extremely stringent and overbearing. What was your experience in New York, and were you politically active from the very beginning? Because there were some people who were. Or did it come when you decided to take on the new regulations regarding isolation and quarantine? [00:10:18] Speaker B: Yeah, I was not politically active before. I really was not a fan of politics. I'm not really still not a fan of politics. But it was a necessary component of this particular lawsuit that I ended up getting so involved with. So the lockdowns here in New York, I have to say, were so horrendous because the main thing that I saw was the government, again, didn't have the power to do it, but did it anyway, stepped in at the federal level and said the CDC, right, the center for Disease Control, which has nothing to do with anything about real estate, made a Nationwide eviction moratorium, telling landlords across the country, you cannot evict your tenant for non payment of rent because that is going to spread. Covid. It was the most ridiculous thing I ever heard in my life. And I knew immediately that they were doing something not to try and stop the spread of COVID They were doing something to wipe out the middle class. Because most landlords in this country are mom and pops. They're not these big tremendous corporations. People think that it is. It is not. Most people are like you and me, right? And then they save up all their money and then they buy a multifamily property. A lot of times the landlords live in one part of their property and then rent out the other parts of their property as their income to help pay their bills and feed their kids and clothe their family. So what I was seeing was people, because the government told the tenants, you can't get evicted. Many tenants, not all, many tenants started to not pay their rent. And so the landlords were coming to me and saying, you have to help me. I'm going to lose my property. I can't afford to pay all the bills. My tax bill is not suspended. There's no moratorium on paying my property taxes. My insurance bill is not suspended. They still had to pay their insurance on the property. The maintenance on their property still had to get paid. The mortgage on their property still had to get paid. So these people were losing their life savings and they were desperate for help. And I couldn't help them because the government, starting at the federal, but going straight down to state, local, village, they were all buying into this. Nobody standing up, nobody was trying to fight for the citizens. [00:13:16] Speaker A: So I think that we probably have a lot of people in our audience who actually had experiences like the one you described. So I want to encourage those of you who are watching on all of the platforms, if you can relate, if you have some anecdotes of things like this that happened to you, please go ahead and type them in. But first, I'm going to get to the kind of main reason why you caught our eye and also the main project that you're working on right now, which are these regulations that you mounted, the lawsuit to get retracted. Tell us specifically what these regulations are. When were they introduced and on whose behalf, and how did you go about fighting them? [00:14:02] Speaker B: So the regulation, because we got it struck down, was called isolation and quarantine procedures. And it was first issued by the Department of Health in New York state in March of 2020 under then Governor Andrew Cuomo. And then it was reissued. They issued it as an emergency, and they just kept reissuing it for a year and a half. And then when he stepped down as governor and Hoekel became our governor, she had her department of Health continue reissuing that same horrendous regulation. And I'll just describe it briefly to your audience so that they understand what this regulation said. It would allow the Department of Health, anybody working in the department of Health, unelected bureaucrats, remember to pick and choose which New Yorkers they could lock up or lock down. They could have locked you down in your home, forced you to stay in your home, or they could have removed you from your home by the force of police and put you into a detention center of their choosing. You would have no say. There was no age restriction. So they could have done it to you. They could have done it to your child or your grandchild or your ailing parent. There was no requirement that they prove you were sick. So they could have just. Well, we think maybe you went to a concert, maybe you went to a political rally, maybe you went to the supermarket, and maybe you were exposed to this communicable disease. So now we're going to lock you up or lock you down. And it wasn't Covid specific. It was not just about COVID They have a whole laundry list of over 50 diseases that they have on this list, which some of them were not even communicable diseases, like, for example, Lyme disease, like, for example, botulism, which is food poisoning. Like, for example. Yes, they did have. Obviously, some of them were. Covid was on the list and tuberculosis was on the list. But toxic shock syndrome is on the list. I mean, it's unbelievable what they have on this list. And so they could lock you up or lock you down with no proof you're sick, no proof you were exposed to a communicable disease, and then there was no way for you to get out once you were in quarantine or isolation. So what I mean, by that is, we were having oral arguments in front of the trial court judge two years ago, and he asked the attorney general, he said, let's say you take a family. Let's say you put them into a facility somewhere, like a hospital or something. Once they're in there, how do they get out? And there was a really pregnant pause, and then the attorney general said, well, I guess they could hire a lawyer and they could sue us. So no due process. There was no right to an attorney until after you were locked up or locked down. There was no due notice requirement, so they could have just knocked on your door and handed you this isolation or this quarantine order, and you would have to comply. It was unbelievable. It's mind blowing. Even every time I talk about it, it's mind blowing. [00:17:32] Speaker A: It sounds like something out of a dystopian novel. It's almost too horrible to believe, but it's there. It's in the document, and the fight continues. So we have some of our regulars who are here asking some questions. So we're going to take a few of those and then get back into some of the questions that I have for you. One of them is from our friend, my modern gault on Instagram. Always gets the first slot with the first question he asks. With what happened in New York, many left, what made you decide to stay? [00:18:08] Speaker B: Fabianne, I get that question, actually, pretty often, I have to admit, I was one of those people that was, in the beginning going to leave the state because I said, this government is out of their minds. They are out of their minds. They cannot do. Most of what they're doing, they cannot do. And because New York, and here comes the politics. Because New York legislature, our lawmaking body in our state, is supermajority. Democrat in both houses, our state senate, and our state assembly. And we have a Democrat governor, and we have a Democrat attorney general. From top to bottom, the government at the state level in New York is run by one party, which is very dangerous, and I don't care which party it is. It's very dangerous to have one political party running every facet of the government because they have total control. And then they start to overstep, and there's nobody pushing back against them politically because they have so much power. So in the beginning, I thought, this is a machine that you cannot beat because it's so overwhelming. But then I got a little angry, and I said, no, this is baloney. I am not going to let them push me out of the state. I'm going to push them out of the state. And I just got this very determined attitude. And I said, I'm going to fight. I'm one person, but it doesn't matter. I'm going to fight. And so I decided to stay. And I started to get involved with public speaking. I was going all over New York state giving speeches to, whether it was a civic organization or a women's club, know, you name it, a grassroots organization, you name it, I was going, I was teaching them about the constitution. I would explain to them the horrendous things the state government was doing that they weren't allowed to do. And this was all before the quarantine lawsuit because I didn't even know about the quarantine reg yet. And so I just said, I'm going to stay and fight. And it's because I stayed and I didn't leave the state that I was able to eventually find out about this isolation and quarantine reg and then bring this lawsuit, which ultimately we won. We struck it down as unconstitutional breach of separation of powers. Of course, the governor appealed, and now the appellate court has ruled that my plaintiffs don't have standing, which is the completely most infuriating thing ever, because my plaintiffs absolutely have standing. I represent a group of New York state legislators, a senator, Senator George Borllo, Assemblyman Chris Taigue, Assemblyman Mike Waller, who's now Congressman Mike Waller, and a citizens group. If anybody on the planet has standing to challenge an unconstitutional regulation from the wrong branch of government, it's the members of the other branch of appealing. Yeah, we're still appealing now. We just filed our appeal with the highest court in New York state. [00:21:30] Speaker A: Well, how long do you think that'll take, too? [00:21:34] Speaker B: It's hard to say because I don't know yet. We just filed the papers yesterday. I don't know yet if they are going to take the case. It's like this United States Supreme Court, where our highest court in New York state doesn't take every single case. So we're trying to have them hear the case as of right, meaning it's a constitutional issue and they need to hear the case. But if they disagree and they deny, then I have to try again. I have to make a motion and put in different papers and stuff. So it might be a process just getting the case heard, but I don't have a time frame because I'm not sure which path they're going to require us to take yet. It could be a couple of months, it could be a year. I mean, it's very hard to say. [00:22:29] Speaker A: How do you keep, I mean, this is now you talked about figure skating. This sounds more like an ultra marathon. How do you feed your spirit to keep the momentum going? [00:22:47] Speaker B: Yeah, I have a really great network at this point. I started this all by myself. I was one person. As I said, I reached out to colleagues, other attorneys to ask them to help with the lawsuit. It'll be quicker, it'll be faster and less work on each person if you have two lawyers or four lawyers or whatever. But nobody wanted to work pro bono. I've been doing the case pro bono for two years now. They didn't want to work pro bono or they didn't think you can't win the governor, all this power, and you can't beat the machine. And everybody had an excuse. But once I found my plaintiffs, Senator Barrello, Assemblyman Tag, Congressman Waller, and this citizens group uniting New York state, I guess the camaraderie that has come from that, now it's a team. And now we have help coming from other places. As know, there was a whole nother group of New York state legislators who wrote an amicus brief to help support our case at the trial court level two years ago. And now that we're going up on appeal to the court of Appeals, that same group of New York state legislators is going to write another amicus brief to try to support us in this appeal now. So the network has grown, and really, the people of New York help keep me going. And not just the people of New York, people outside New York. I get lots of emails and phone calls at my office and lots of posts on social media. I write a substac and people will read my substac, which I write an article once a week. And if you sign up for my substac, you get it automatically delivered into your inbox. People will leave comments on my substac, and I've gotten letters and cards and it's really encouraging. [00:25:00] Speaker A: Yeah, that helps keep you going, especially because I'm sure you've, throughout this process, also gotten a lot of blowback and a lot of negatives. So we're going to put that link to the substac in all of the comment streams. But we have our friend on Facebook, Candice Morena, asks, what do you think is the biggest threat to property rights, government taking people's property or government failing to protect people's property from others? [00:25:31] Speaker B: I think we're seeing now, which is really so sad. We're seeing a mix of everything you read stories about. The government is doing things in certain parts of the country or certain communities where it causes the value of property, real estate property, to drop. And then, hey, they can swoop in and pay a much lower price for that property than if it was on the open market. And we're also seeing a lot of government interaction with private companies. And a lot of times when government knows it can't do something, it doesn't have the power to do it. Well, they figure if they can go through a private company to do it. And we saw that a lot with censorship going on since March of 2020, the government. And there's a really important lawsuit going on right now. It's not one of my lawsuits, but it's called Missouri versus Biden. [00:26:34] Speaker A: Yeah, we've had Aaron Carriotti on the show to talk about that. [00:26:38] Speaker B: Oh, great. Yeah, Aaron was also a fellow at the Brownstone Institute last year, so I know Aaron pretty well. He's great. So, yeah, he's one of the plaintiffs in that Missouri versus Biden lawsuit. And it's such an important lawsuit because they are uncovering all of this documentation that proves that the US government was colluding with social media companies in order to censor Americans from saying certain things, asking certain questions. It's horrendous. It's completely unconstitutional. And they were doing it not directly because they knew they couldn't. They were doing it through these social media. [00:27:25] Speaker A: And if Elon Musk hadn't bought x, I guess we may never have found out about that. Okay. Speaking of x, our friend Zach Carter asks, for those interested in studying law, how difficult was it for you to enter this career path? Any recommendations that you have for education in law? Yeah. [00:27:49] Speaker B: So law school is definitely for people that really want to be there. It's not just like an extension of college. Lots of people say they had so much fun in college, and then they go to law school and they're thinking, oh, my gosh, this is way too much work. So you have to really want to go to law school to go is what the first thing I tell people when they ask me about that. But if you do have that passion, it is great, because law school does teach you about how to interpret the world in just a different light. And a lot of people that go to law school when they graduate, not everybody practices law. Some people go into other fields, but their law degree helps them in their field. So some people will go into law enforcement with their law degree, but not actually be practicing. Or a lot of people will go into business or finance after that. But it really is very personal. I started off my career as an environmental attorney working for a very large New York City law firm. But after a few years of that, I then switched and opened my own law office. And then I started doing the real estate property tax law that I had mentioned earlier and did that for about 20 years. And then I started doing constitutional law four years ago. With this, Covid, with your current trajectory, right? Yeah. [00:29:21] Speaker A: Okay. On Facebook, Alex Morena asks, was there any legal justification that allowed the busing of six COVID patients into nursing homes? I recall that being an issue in New York City. [00:29:36] Speaker B: Yeah, that was actually an issue in the whole state. So legally, the reason it happened was because the governor at the time, which was Andrew Cuomo, had made a directive. So he basically told the hospitals to send anyone who had come from a nursing home and was now in the hospital. He told them to send the hospitals to send them back to their nursing homes, which then obviously spread throughout the nursing homes. And then there were a lot of unnecessary deaths because of that. So that came from Andrew Cuomo and his directive. Now, he was given, quite unfortunately, he was given emergency powers by the New York state legislature. In March of 2020, the legislature voted to give him the power to, they called it directives, issue directives. What they really did was they gave him the power to make law. They gave one person the power to issue any sort of directive they wanted. That's making a law, and that is unconstitutional. The legislative branch can't give their lawmaking power to another branch of government. Completely unconstitutional. So how got that power? But they did take it back eventually after a year. [00:31:05] Speaker A: I remember a friend of mine, she went through all of these hoops at the end of 2019 to get her ailing mother into a nursing home. I mean, all kinds of shenanigans. And she was so happy to have gotten her mother into a nursing home. Well, then this happened. Her mother immediately died of COVID Can you imagine what that would do to you as a daughter, saying, I saved my mother? No, I got her where she was going to get infected. All right, we have a question from Tammy Hudgens on Facebook asking, can you explain the travel ban Governor Hoekle issued in New York last week? [00:31:55] Speaker B: Yes. So I actually wrote a substac article about that. If anybody wants further details, you can absolutely go on my substac, which you just go to substack.com, and then you can search my name and my page will come up. But basically, what she did, there was, there was a snowstorm that was supposed to be coming in. And so she and the county executive who was the head of this one particular county in that part of New York state, she issued a travel ban. They said you can't drive, you can't be on the road starting at a certain time and going indefinitely because they weren't sure how long the snow was going to fall and what it was going to be like. And in that part of New York, which is the western part of New York, it's near like Lake Erie area, they get snow all the mean. They get lots and lots of snow. I mean, it's not unusual for them to get a couple know in a snow season. And the fact that that was their excuse for telling people they couldn't go on the road. Now, in that part of New York, it's mostly rural. And so if you can't go on the road, that means you're stuck in your house. Right. It's not like you're in Manhattan, where you can just walk out of your apartment building and you've got stores and restaurants and cvs, and you can go and shop or meet friends. No. If you're in rural New York, you have to get into a vehicle to travel on the road in order to get somewhere or do something or see other people. So it was a lockdown, they called. [00:33:45] Speaker A: It. [00:33:48] Speaker B: And it was over the. [00:33:51] Speaker A: Right. So would it be fair then to say that the fight that you've undertaken against this particular quarantine regulation is as much about the content of the regulation, which is horrific enough, but it's also about the precedent. Right. So that if people can issue a travel ban when there's a snowstorm or people can issue a quarantine and basically do something unconstitutional, then, well, hey, gosh, we really don't want people in this part of the state going to the polls right now. So it just opens the door. How much of this is about picking and choosing based on the content and the merits of the case? And how much are you trying to prevent this spread of this kind of regulatory overreach? [00:34:48] Speaker B: Yes, it's definitely a crucial lawsuit because not only is the content of that regulation horrendous, like you said, it's a whole idea that unelected bureaucrats who sit in an agency somewhere and answer to the executive, whether that's Kathy Hoekle as the governor or whether it's Biden as the president, they cannot make a rule that conflicts with, first of all, our existing laws. And here in New York state, we have a quarantine law. We've had it since 1953, and it's full of due process protections. You can't have an agency write a rule that overrides a law. No way. Imagine if they could, imagine if an agency, unelected bureaucrats, they're just hired. They're hired by the governor, and the governor appoints the commissioner of health, and then the commissioner of health hires know. So somebody who's not accountable to the people, you can't vote them in and out, is sitting there and says, well, you know what? We don't like this law that the legislature made ten years ago, 50 years ago, whatever it is, we're just going to change it. No, you cannot do that. The legislature can change the laws. The legislature can say, hey, you know what? We need to update that quarantine law. Let's change it up. The legislature can do that, but you can't do that if you're a member of an agency in the Department of Health and it doesn't matter what department it is. So if you now all of a sudden, if this case is overturned and you now all of a sudden have a court saying, well, yeah, you know what? Unelected bureaucrats and agencies, they can write regulations that conflict with our laws, you are going to have tyranny like you've never seen before because you will have not just the Department of Health, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Education, and every department saying, oh, great, we now have this tremendous power to change laws and no one's going to stop us. So you would literally see the breakdown of our society if they, this lawsuit that I won, it'll be complete chaos. [00:37:12] Speaker A: Isaiah Morel on Instagram asks, do you think that just judicial activism is a growing threat to an objective standard in the legal. [00:37:23] Speaker B: When people. It's a good question because when people go to vote, they really don't pay attention to the judges that they're voting for. Right. [00:37:31] Speaker A: Right. [00:37:32] Speaker B: And here in New York City, we elect our trial court judges. So we elect our judges who are the first level of court, the trial court. Then when you get to the appellate court and then you get to the court of appeals, those are appointed judges. So those are appointed by the governor. But our trial court judges are elected. And typically the governor will appoint to the appellate seats judges that are coming from the trial court level. Right. So who you vote for when you go into that ballot box is huge. You have to do your homework and vote for a judge or someone who's running for a judge who has values that line up with yours, because if you are just voting Willy Nilly oh, I'm a Democrat. I'm just going to vote Democrat right down the line. You won't even know who you're voting for. And the judges are just as important as who you're electing to be your governor or who you're electing to be your state representative. It's really a problem. People have to really pay attention to that. [00:38:41] Speaker A: Would you ever consider running for a judicial position? [00:38:47] Speaker B: I don't think so. At this point in time, I feel like I'm more in the right place. Yeah, I'm more effective doing what I'm doing. But, yeah, we have a big need for attorneys who are constitutionally inclined to run for judge. Absolutely. [00:39:11] Speaker A: My modern gald on Instagram asks. He says you had wrote an article last week regarding illegal immigrants in Texas. Do you have any comments on Governor Abbott's announcement today regarding the border? [00:39:26] Speaker B: What was his announcement today? Because I've been in meetings. [00:39:31] Speaker A: So have will. [00:39:33] Speaker B: But maybe talk a little bit about. [00:39:34] Speaker A: The substance of your piece. [00:39:37] Speaker B: So what's going on with the border fight is really atrocious. The state of Texas, led by Governor Abbot, obviously has, the past few years that Biden's been in office, has launched what they call Operation Lone Star. And they're trying to, in various ways, they're trying to secure their border, which is our southern border. So obviously, Arizona is also a border state, but Texas has a lot of that mileage. And so they have done things like, for example, in my last article. [00:40:14] Speaker A: The. [00:40:14] Speaker B: State of Texas passed a law saying that if you are caught coming into their state illegally, that they can arrest you and the Biden administration, and then eventually they could turn you over to ICE and whatever. Then ICE will deport and whatever. The Biden administration sued them and. No, no, I'm sorry, you can't enforce immigration laws or create your own immigration laws. Only the federal government can do that. And we don't want to do that, in essence, is what they're saying. And another case that's going on, and the United States Supreme Court just ruled on the other day was Texas had put barbed wire up along a certain area of the border to deter people coming in illegally, and they got sued by the Biden administration. And the United States Supreme Court just recently ruled, like the other day. Yeah, no, no, it's okay. You can't do that, Texas. So they ordered that the coast, not the coast guard, that the National Guard had to stand down. And then you saw immediately the border patrol agents coming in and cutting the wire and opening up again. Opening up the border to illegal crossing. And it was a five to four decision and completely horrendous. John Roberts, who's supposed to be conservative and a constitutionalist, votes to cut the barbed wire, as does know, and together with the three liberal justices. So it's really, really upsetting because Texas should have the right to defend their state border and the fact that it's our national border. It's a violation of the Constitution. Article four, section four of the constitution says that the federal government will guarantee safety from invasion to the states. And you are absolutely doing the opposite. The Biden administration is doing the opposite. They are. No, no. Come in, everybody. Come on in. Doesn't matter who you are, where you're from, forget the immigration laws. Just come on in. Just because the Biden administration doesn't want to enforce our immigration laws, which have been on the books for a very long time, doesn't mean the laws go away. [00:42:56] Speaker A: The laws. My modern gulf's back. He's telling us about. He's on the case. He said that today, Abbot argues that the Biden administration has failed to fulfill article four of the constitution, which has triggered article one, section ten, clause three, stating that the state has the right to self defense. Sounds pretty much like what you're saying. [00:43:22] Speaker B: Yeah, I agree with that statement. The federal government is not holding up their side of the bargain. The constitution is very clear. The language is not fuzzy or questionable. The federal government is supposed to prevent invasion. They are supposed to secure the borders of this country. And they're not just not supporting border security, they're doing the opposite. They're encouraging an invasion. And it is very scary. [00:43:55] Speaker A: They're fighting any of our governors that are trying to do something about it. All right, I'm going to take one last question on Xguardian asks, do you think that eminent domain ever has a case to be justified, or has it opened the door for more threats to property rights? And I'm glad he asked that question because a question that I occasionally get on my weekly Instagram takeover is people asking about eminent domain along the border. Right. So if either the state or the federal government wants to come in and build a wall, what is the case for property rights for people that maybe say, I don't want a wall on my property? [00:44:38] Speaker B: Yeah. Eminent domain is pretty specific to a state and to a certain situation, so it's hard to give, like, a blanket answer to a question like that. But I do think that part of talking about private property, part of that barbed wire, if not all, I don't remember exactly but at least part of it, if not all of it, was on private land. And that's another whole reason why the federal government should not have the right to come in and cut the barbed wire. If a private citizen makes an agreement or a contract with the state government to allow them to use their land, I mean, here in New York, we have easements, utility easements all over the place, right? We allow the government, you sign an agreement, you allow the government to use your property for a specific reason at a specific location on your property. The federal government can't just come in and abolish a contract that has been signed by other people. It's not a power that the government has. And I think a big problem that we've seen with COVID is because it was an emergency and because so many people were so frightened, the government got away with things that they never should have gotten away with. And then it became like a norm to people. And so a lot of people don't understand what their rights are. They don't teach the constitution anymore in schools on purpose because they don't want you to know what your rights are. But if you don't know what your rights are, then how do you know that you should be pushing back against an overreaching government? So this is a very big problem we're seeing, not just at the state levels. We're seeing it at the federal level as well. [00:46:39] Speaker A: So the question that one of our viewers asked you about your decision to stay behind and fight makes me think about the fact that state of New York has lost about 5% of its population since the beginning of all of these pandemic interventions, lockdowns, mandates, et cetera, which were, again, among the strictest in the country. It's likely that a lot of the residents who fled the state are not on board with those kinds of politics and those kinds of policies coming out of Albany and New York City. So do you think that the people that left actually, does it make it less likely that the voters who remained behind will vote out the Hokels and the mayor Adams, which means that change for New Yorkers is further out of reach? [00:47:36] Speaker B: I don't think so. I actually think that there are a lot of people still in New York who appreciate the constitution, their liberties, their freedom, and are tired of this constant government overreach at all levels and in all aspects of their lives. So I think the issue is educating more people to what the government's doing. Because if they knew what their government was doing, I have a strong feeling it doesn't matter what their political affiliation is that they will say, absolutely not, there's no way I'm voting for you. And then they'll vote the new person in. And the other thing is that the numbers are so big. So we have 19 million New Yorkers. In our last gubernatorial election, which was in 2022, only five or 6 million of those 19 million voted. It's like about a quarter of the people in New York state voted. Now, not all people in New York state are eligible to vote, right? Not all are citizens. But still, even if you take a few million out as not being citizens and not being eligible to vote in our elections, you still have a tremendous number of people who are citizens and could vote but didn't. So you have to reach those people. And I think, like I said, a lot of people want to stick their head in the sand and say, oh, politics, oh, my gosh, I can't stand this. This is insanity. A lot of people don't want to hear what's going on. But if you do share it with them, I think it will motivate them to say, oh, my gosh, I have to vote because I have to get rid of these crazy people that are destroying our freedoms. And that's what they're doing. That's what they're doing, especially in, you know, the other reason that I decided to stay and fight in New York was because I knew if everybody who thinks like we do and enjoys our freedoms and our rights and loves the constitution for protecting our freedoms and our rights, if we all lead the state, then they win hands down. There's no one pushing back. And then once they win, it's going to spread. It's not going to just stay in New York. It's going to spread to all the other states. And then eventually it'll get to the point where you have no place left to run and hide. It might take a few years to spread to the red states like Florida or Texas or whatever, but it will eventually get there and then we're done that we have no place left to run and hide. [00:50:21] Speaker A: Few final questions here, because again, I want to thank you. Bobby Ann, it's super late there. We started 06:00 my time here in California, 09:00 so it's almost 10:00 there. And clearly your work ethic is on display working around the clock. I'm sure after you get off of this podcast, your day is not over. So we've seen the calls for amnesty in the Atlantic and I have kept on this topic. Other people just kind of want to forget all about it. What is your response to people who say, enough already? Sure, mistakes were made. Can't we just stop talking about it and move on? I mean, I think in your case, you still have this regulation on the books years out, but what's the case for making sure that this never happens again? [00:51:19] Speaker B: Yeah, we cannot just forget about this. We cannot lift the rug, sweep everything under and put the rug back down. Absolutely not. We only learn from our mistakes if we acknowledge our mistakes. If nobody says, oh, it was a mistake, I'm really sorry, let's see how we ended up here then. Absolutely. History can repeat itself. Absolutely. And this is a really telling situation. Yesterday and today I was up in Albany, which is a couple hours from where I live in New York. But it's our state capitol. That's where our legislature sits and the governor and such. And my lead plaintiff on this quarantine lawsuit, Senator George Borrello, was in a hearing, and the hearing was, they were posing questions to the commissioner of health of New York State, and he specifically asked him, rule 2.13, which is the regulation we got struck down, was struck down by a court in 2022 deemed unconstitutional. It went to the appellate court because the governor appealed. So obviously she wants the power back. The appellate court threw it out on standing. Now we're appealing to get the standing back. And he said, do you have any plans to reissue that regulation? And the commissioner of health first he tried to dance around the question, but Senator Borrello brought him back in and said, it's a yes or no question. Do you plan to reissue this regulation? And he said, not at this time. So that tells you that they have, tells me that they have every intention of reissuing this regulation. They're just waiting for the litigation to finish and see where does this litigation end up. So that should tell people that we are in big trouble if we do not change the leadership in this country. And I don't just mean the president. Yes, we definitely have to change the president. He's a nightmare for this country. But we don't overlook your local elections, whether it's your governor, whether it's your state senators and your state assembly members, whether it's your school board, as local as your school board. You have to get involved and vote, and you have to do your homework on the candidates before you go and vote because all of this government overreach. Insanity will happen again. It's still happening today. I have another lawsuit I started in October against the New York state government for another unconstitutional breach. But it's going to get a lot worse if we don't change the leadership. [00:54:12] Speaker A: Well, I'm going to ask you a question about that. I hadn't really prepared it. Obviously, Biden's been a disaster, but for all intents and purposes, it looks like Donald Trump is going to be the nominee. We talked about learning from your mistakes by acknowledging your mistakes and saying, this is how we got here. I'm going to do this differently. It doesn't seem from anything that I've heard or watched that Donald Trump has learned from this. He's still defending his record. And he was the one who listened to this advice and criticized governors like Governor DeSantis for being too open. Any thoughts on that? Or do you think he will. [00:55:06] Speaker B: Love, I would love him to say, I would never order a lockdown again. I would love him to say that because the lockdowns were so horrible for people. I mean, it caused such remedial problems. I mean, there are children today who the lockdowns were four years ago at this point who, well, they started four years ago, who are having problems reading and writing and with speech. A lot of children because of the lockdowns, because they were missing school. You can't teach these children through a computer screen for days and weeks and months on end. It doesn't work. It's a proven fact. And so we can't just say, oh, well, if there's another emergency like that, then it's okay to do a lockdown. No, it is not. The constitution doesn't have an emergency clause. Right? The constitution doesn't say, oh, here's the constitution. But in case of emergency, none of this applies. Right. There's no exemption for emergencies in the Constitution. I don't care what kind of emergency it is, whether it's a climate emergency, so called climate emergency, or it's a pandemic, or it doesn't matter. Your rights don't get suspended. And people don't understand that. And it's so important for people to understand that, because if you think the government can do what they're doing, you're not going to push back. You're going to be like, well, it's the government, they can do it. No, they can't do it. So it's so important for people to get informed on what their rights are. Mice I write an article once a week on Substac, and I tend to try to focus on issues that are, they're legal issues, but they're like political hot topics, too. But they affect your life, right? They affect your everyday life and people outside New York. I have a lot of followers on my substac from outside New York and that read and appreciate my work because they know if they can get away with it in New York, it's coming to their state soon, too. It is. It's very sad. [00:57:21] Speaker A: Well, our friends at the Brownstone Institute have described you as David going forth to meet Goliath, and we're just so thrilled that you didn't leave New York and that you had the courage to continue even when nobody would join with you. Now, of course, you have so many people who are part of the Bobby Ann Cox team that are cheering you on, that are reading your substacs, and that are really so grateful for all that you are doing. And we're really grateful to have had you very late tonight on the show. So thank you so much. [00:58:03] Speaker B: Yes, thank you for having me, Jack. I really appreciate it. [00:58:06] Speaker A: Great. And thanks to all of you who watched and who asked such great questions. Really particularly enjoyed seeing all of our regulars who were still here, even though we changed up the time. For those of you who come and enjoy every week, just remember that things like this, they're not free, that there's a whole staff that puts this together. The Atlas Society is a nonprofit organization, so please consider supporting our work by making a tax deductible donation today. I'll be watching so I'll know it's you. You can do that at forward slash. Donate. And be sure to join us next week when author and screenwriter Roger Simon joins the Atlas Society asked to discuss his latest book. Really topical, given what we were just talking about today. American refugees, the untold story of the mass exodus from blue states to red states. We'll see you then.

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