Kaine Supports Authoritarian Violations of Patient and Catholic Parishioners’ Rights
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine distinguished himself this past month as a defender of authoritarianism with two moves that undermine the rights of Americans. The first is his opposition to Ron Johnson’s bill, S.444, that would prevent the Biden Administration from unilaterally adopting (without required Senate advice and consent) World Health Authority amendments that threaten to increase WHO authority and influence over U.S. pandemic response. The second is his defense of a rogue (indeed, bonkers) FBI Richmond Division leaked memo that called for informants to be placed in Catholic Latin Masses in Virginia on the theory that those Catholics might induce other Catholics to become white supremacists, another outlandish abuse of power analogous to Attorney General Merrick Garland’s FBI targeting of Loudoun County parents protesting school board meetings.
Kaine helped tank the crucial Johnson bill, S. 444, which would “require any convention, agreement, or other international instrument or pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response reached by the World Health Assembly to be subject to Senate ratification.” Kaine rose in opposition on the Senate floor, not engaging the bill’s merits, but misleadingly suggesting that the underlying measure concerning repeal of 1991 and 2002 Iraq War authorizations would not be considered if the Johnson amendment passed. That is false. In fact, as Johnson explained in reply, “my amendment can be accepted and has no impact whatsoever on the legislation before the body.” Democrats followed Kaine in voting down Johnson’s amendment, thus protecting the Biden Administration’s intention to act unilaterally in amending the WHO Pandemic Treaty Act in violation of the Constitution’s Senate Advice and Consent Clause, Article II, Section 2. See the debate.
Adoption of the WHO pandemic response amendments by the Administration will pave the way for enabling WHO pandemic response mandates to supplant autonomous local authority over medical practice, ultimately threatening the exercise of independent professional judgment by physicians in the care of ill patients. Moreover, the WHO amendments require the United States to supply 20% of its future vaccines and pandemic medicines to the WHO along with certain rights to intellectual property. It will also enable WHO to censor content it deems “disinformation” in a manner analogous to the Biden Administration’s censorship of COVID vaccine critics (revealed in the Twitter files). The WHO amendments cause U.S. public health agencies to work with WHO on harmonizing pandemic response.
The very real threat exists, therefore, of an essential pass-through whereby the Biden Administration defers to WHO ordered pandemic responses by imposing WHO lockdown, vaccine, and treatment protocol mandates through federal and state health authorities and boards on physicians and patients.
Because these moves alter fundamentally the relationship between the United States and WHO concerning pandemic response, Article II, Section 2 requires that the matter be delivered to the Senate by the Administration for advice and consent, and only after two-thirds of Senators present vote in favor of the WHO amendments could the Administration sign a treaty codifying them. Instead, the Biden Administration with the complicity of Kaine and the Democrat majority in the Senate have denied the American people the opportunity for protection of their rights and interests otherwise afforded by the Treaty Clause in order to usher in an opportunity for a future continuation of the horrendous lockdowns, vax and mask mandates, and censorship that characterized the recent, dark episode of authoritarianism which ruled America in place of individual liberty and freedom of choice.
Kaine defended another authoritarian move by the Biden government concerning the role of the FBI in investigating Catholic parishioners. The Richmond Division of the FBI produced an internal memo that called for FBI informants to enter Catholic Churches during the Latin Mass in an effort to ferret out other Catholics who they presumed might lead traditional Catholics to endorse white supremacy. Persuading someone to adopt a doctrine, even a noxious one, is not a crime. But criminal investigations of people in the absence of probable cause that a crime is being committed is a violation of the Constitution. Indeed, what the memo revealed is a massive planned FBI violation of First Amendment rights to religious freedom and Fourth Amendment rights against search without probable cause. Yet Kaine believed the FBI actions justified, even commonplace, as he explained in an interview with WSET-TV. In that interview, Kaine accepted at face value the far-fetched notion that “violent extremists” were recruiting what Kaine referred to as “radical traditionalist Catholics” to become white supremacists. He thought the problem not that the FBI was engaged in surveillance of Catholics in church but that communication between the FBI and the Catholic Church leadership about the surveillance was less than adequate.
For its part, following the online publication Uncoverdc’s release of the FBI memo and its reporting on it, the FBI withdrew the memo, reciting that it did not comport with agency policy and procedures. But Kaine has not withdrawn his comments, including his acceptance of the unproven notion that somehow Catholics who attend Latin Mass are being preyed upon by violent extremists who seek to convert them into white supremacists. More troubling still is Kaine’s knee-jerk defense of the authoritarian moves by a rogue FBI to place informants in Richmond area Catholic churches to surveille parishioners in violation of those parishioners’ First and Fourth Amendment rights.
This article was written on April 21, 2023, and published on Townhall
Jonathan Emord is a leading constitutional law and litigation expert, the author of five critically acclaimed books, and a Candidate for the US Senate.