No doubt some day the Monday morning quarterbacks will be in position to look back with perfect hindsight and conclude that we either overreacted to the COVID-19 pandemic or, worse, that we didn’t do enough.

But right now, decisions have had to be made. Here in New Hampshire, that has mostly fallen to Gov. Chris Sununu. Given the circumstances, he has made the right ones thus far.

What we find remarkable, however, is how compliant and unquestioning of authority the public has been.

Even in this age of divisiveness, even in the home of Live Free or Die, most people have simply gone along with rules that have upended their lives like nothing before.

Superior Court Judge John Kissinger made the correct call a week ago when three citizens questioned the governor’s authority to declare an emergency limiting the size of public gatherings. (It was 50 people then; now it is 10.)

But there was nothing wrong, and much right, with our system of laws that gives those citizens the right to question a law that impinged on their rights of free speech, assembly and religion. There is nothing frivolous about the First Amendment.

Manchester lawyer Daniel Hynes was able to state his clients’ contention that the evidence of the virus’ effect was not sufficient for the invoking of emergency powers that infringed on those rights.

State solicitor general Daniel Will noted that the emergency powers are not absolute. The Legislature may terminate an emergency declaration by a majority vote.

But, Will said, “The governor’s emergency powers are significant because they need to be.”

The judge ruled that a 2002 state law gave the governor broad powers to declare an emergency to protect the public.

“It is clear from the factual conclusions … that this is an extraordinary public health crisis, and the danger to the citizens of New Hampshire, the country and the world is real and it is imminent,” Kissinger said.

“A large portion of this effort is to prevent the harm from getting worse. Isn’t this a good use of the governor’s emergency powers?” Kissinger asked.

The judge found that the answer was “yes.” We agree. It was still good that someone asked the question.

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

New Hampshire public schools that have managed to keep their doors open this fall need to remain that way. Those that have fallen back to remote mode ought to return to classrooms as soon as possible. To help make that happen, it appears that Gov. Chris Sununu and Dept. of Education Commissi…

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Seven state legislators who have resolved to impeach Gov. Chris Sununu in the midst of a pandemic are giving the term “conservative” a bad name. They were so described in news stories last week. No doubt that’s how they think of themselves. But attempting to nullify an overwhelming vote of t…

Friday, November 27, 2020

One benefit of the recent elections ought to be the long overdue acceptance of a federal grant (i.e., taxpayer money) to explore and expand public charter school options throughout New Hampshire. The repeated rejection of these funds that the state Department of Education has sought for more…

No doubt readers today are still digging their way through either Thanksgiving leftovers and/or the extra-large holiday newspaper we served up earlier this week. The edition has ideas aplenty for the Christmas shopping that lies directly ahead.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

The statewide mask order issued by Gov. Chris Sununu late last week should come as no surprise. Anyone who has paid attention knows Sununu has moved decisively on dealing with COVID-19 when he believes action is warranted. It is one of the main reasons he was just re-elected by such a wide margin.

The staggering amount of taxpayer money that has been spent on the related problems of homelessness, drug abuse and mental illness in New Hampshire is mind-numbing. In his answer to a letter from mayors (including Manchester’s Joyce Craig), Gov. Chris Sununu provides an outline of such expen…

It is good to read that Secretary of State William Gardner will stand for another term. His record for New Hampshire speaks for itself as one of uncompromising service and integrity above partisan politics. Our most recent election process, standing as it does in stark relief to challenges a…

Friday, November 20, 2020
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

It seems ironic that the New Hampshire couple upset with the producers of the North Woods Law TV program for allegedly invading their privacy are in fact bringing notoriety on themselves with their lawsuit. It puts us in mind of the fellow who killed his parents and then begged for the court…

New Hampshire’s Fish and Game Department will have its hands full as the seasons change and the nights get longer. No doubt its officers will be dealing with road kill as deer, in particular, roam about as winter approaches.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Republican Party hacks across the country were willing enablers of Donald Trump even as his own self-interests did damage to a once-proud Republican philosophy. They did so precisely because they are political hacks first, last, and always.

The Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army would normally be kicking things off with a thank-you luncheon at about this time of year. That can’t happen because of the coronavirus pandemic, which is also putting an added strain on the families the Santa Fund helps to serve.