The city council of a small town north of Sacramento is making a big stink that they don’t have to follow vaccine mandates, though the mayor backing the measure admits the resolution “doesn’t change anything.”
The latest fad in Trumper rage may turn out to be communities declaring through vague declarations that they are no longer part of the United States, because that is what passes for patriotism in that set. You may not be familiar with Oroville, the county seat of Butte County, home to Lake Oroville and the Oroville Dam, and a town of roughly 16,000 people sitting some 150 miles to the northeast of San Francisco. But that town is the new darling of the conservative horseshit machine, as the Bay Area News Group reports that Oroville has declared itself a “constitutional Republic” in hopes of avoiding all state and federal vaccine mandates, because who cares that 759,000 Americans have died of COVID-19.
The city council of Oroville, California, declared itself a “constitutional republic” on Tuesday, citing Governor Gavin Newsom’s coronavirus health regulations as the reason. https://t.co/4ufT7xOJTK— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) November 6, 2021
The Bay Area News Group’s article is entitled “Oroville is now a ‘constitutional republic’ — what does that mean?” Good question! In terms of actual policy detail, there is very little. The city council agenda at which this declaration passed by a 6-1 vote merely has the one-liner “The City Council may consider a Resolution to declare the City of Oroville a Constitutional Republic City.” The council meeting minutes are not yet posted.
We did, however, find a legislative packet that describes the legislation as such: “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Oroville City Council that 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 will not be enforced by the City of Oroville against its citizens.”
Of course, whether these orders are “overreaching or clearly violate our constitutionally protected rights” is determined by the angriest nutjobs in the room.
BREAKING: The California city of Oroville votes to declare itself a "Constitutional Republic" to avoid unconstitutional California mandateshttps://t.co/KZPcLZcDVK— LA Tech Noir (@LATechNoir) November 8, 2021
One councilmember explained his stance to the news group. “It is time we the people stand up against the overreach of these radicalized power hungry politicians,” Councilmember Scott Thomson said. “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. Even our assemblyman has been trying to get through to [Newsom] since the beginning of all this, and he has been unwilling to listen to our representative and others who understand our area. If he would simply listen to their input, we wouldn’t be here.”
To be fair, this is not the consensus opinion of that town. "This is disgusting, it makes me mad," Oroville resident Liza West told Sacramento’s KOVR. "I think that we all believe in applying the law and agree in following the law, and this is just ridiculous.”
The proclamation likely has no legal basis or implication. “My sense is the strong presumption would be that the city of Oroville does not have the power to do this, I see this primarily as a gesture," UC Davis law professor Lisa Pruitt told the station. "Ultimately this would be determined by a court."
Even the Oroville mayor who’s behind the idea agrees, telling Bay Area News Group that “doesn’t change anything,” and that “It’s simply reminding people what kind of government we live under and that they do have personal choices and freedoms.”
The measure may be symbolic, but the legislative push against public health guidelines is very real and spreading like a virus across the nation.
“Legislators have approved more than 100 new laws — with hundreds more under consideration — that limit state and local health powers,” the New York Times reported last month. “At least 32 states have enacted legislation restricting state or local authority over health and emergency decisions.”
Image: Podruznik via Wikimedia Commons