Calif. city borrows from ‘sanctuary city’ playbook to fight Covid mandates, declares itself a ‘Constitutional Republic’

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Civic leaders in a northern California municipality have engaged in what might be described as a completely peaceful protest by passing a resolution declaring the locality a “Constitutional Republic City” in response to a panoply of COVID-related mandates.

The city council seems to have taken a page out of the leftist sanctuary city playbook in what may turn out, however, to be merely a ceremonial or symbolic action, although time will tell.

The resolution passed by a 6-1 vote says, in part, the city will refrain from enforcing “any executive orders issued by the state of California or by the United States federal government that are overreaching or clearly violate our constitutionally protected rights.”

The resolution emerged over dissatisfaction with government-imposed vaccine and mask mandates as well as businesses that were shut down during the  pandemic.

“What we are doing is protecting our citizens’ rights as much as we can on the local level,” Oroville Vice Mayor Scott Thompson, the official who prompted the resolution, told Fox News. “In a way, we are acting as a sanctuary city for our citizens and their rights and freedoms protected by the U.S. and state constitutions. Gavin Newsom modeled this type of declaration for us when he declared San Francisco a sanctuary city for what he believed to be overreach by the federal government against his citizens.”

“Each and every mandate will be handled differently. Although we realize this virus is serious; we also believe that protecting the constitutional freedoms our citizens have is also something we take seriously,” Thompson added, while asserting that they have not been able to get through to the lockdown loving, one-size-fits-all Democrat governor.

“Ultimately, this would be decided by a court. The strong presumption would be that the city of Oroville does not have the power to do this,” University of California, Davis, law professor Lisa Pruitt insisted, however. “I see this as primarily a gesture.”

During the public meeting in the city located in Butte County and about 70 miles north of Sacramento, Thompson explained that “I think it’s time for us to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough…we’re not talking about one mandate that’s been pushed on us recently. It’s a barrage of mandates.”

Watch a report on the Oroville City Council’s action from CBS Sacramento:

City Attorney Scott Huber reassured the council that it could modify the resolution at any time if federal or state funding could be put at risk. He also claimed that courts have ruled that sanctuary cities which have defied federal immigration law have to take specific actions before taxpayer money can be pulled.

Oroville Mayor Chuck Reynolds expressed a belief shared by many Americans. “With all of these emergencies and leaders declaring emergencies it puts one person in charge and they can do pretty much what they want even when the emergency is no longer an immediate threat, they were they are reluctant to give up that power,” he told the East Bay Times.

“It is time we the people stand up against the overreach of these radicalized power hungry politicians. Just because something makes sense in big cities like (San Francisco), (Los Angeles) or Sacramento doesn’t mean it makes sense in rural Oroville. Sadly, our governor hasn’t been willing or open to listening to the north state…If he would simply listen to their input, we wouldn’t be here,” Thompson reportedly wrote in an email.

Last month, Newsom announced a first-in-the nation vaccine mandate for all public and private school children.

Oroville is not the only northern California city that is becoming part of the resistance.

In a 5-0 vote last week, for example, the Calaveras Unified School District Board of Trustees declared it will “not ‘support, enforce or comply with” Newsom’s edict.

Oroville reportedly refused to enforce state requirements prohibiting indoor dining last year and Butte County, where Oroville is located, declined to recommend a mask mandate earlier this fall amid surging cases.

Councilor Dave Pittman said there are “so many rules” state federal governments are attempting to impose that it infringes on both local control and personal rights, according to the East Bay Times.

“‘We stand by and believe in our constitution; our republic and we believe that many times others in state and federal government are exceeding their authority across the board in everything we do,” Pittman said. “Mandates eliminate personal right of choice – to get vaccinated or not, to vaccinate your kids or not — and violate basic constitutional choice we all have. It’s about local government taking care of its citizens period and that what we’re doing.”


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