Most people will agree that Governor Ralph Northam has failed when it comes to leading on COVID. In most every category from his arbitrary shutdown of Virginia to his bizarre mask policies, Northam has been an abject failure. However there is finally a group of people who are standing up to the Governor, and most of them reside in the 6th Congressional District.
First off, Bedford County resident Isaiah Knight wrote a Nullification Resolution which would call for the Bedford County Board of Supervisors to declare their home a 1st Amendment Sanctuary. Secondly, Delegate Tony Wilt of Rockingham has introduced legislation which would give the Legislature oversight of the Governor’s Executive Orders if a State of Emergency lasted more than 45 days. Finally, yours truly, in my place as a Member of the Strasburg Town Council, has introduced a resolution which would also nullify the Governor’s extended State of Emergency, and allow for Strasburg to resume doing business. Mr. Knight is also the Director of the Peaks of Otter Soil and Water Conservation District, and is currently running for the House of Delegates, challenging sitting Delegate Kathy Byron.
Delegate Wilt filed this bill originally before the last Special Session of the Legislature, but the bill was killed when the appropriate Committee did not meet. While Delegate Wilt says he has no ill will towards the process from the Special Session, he has reintroduced the bill to come up in the session beginning in January 2021. The Bedford County Board of Supervisors did not take up Knight’s resolution.
Delegate Wilt’s bill likely will have to be in the form of a constitutional amendment, given the fact that the Governor has God like powers during any state of emergency. However given the arbitrary and capricious way that Mr. Northam has governed via executive order during the pandemic, and the fact that this current state of emergency has lasted for over 250 days, it seems that Virginians may have had enough of a man who is acting like a Czar instead of a duly elected servant of the people.
Below is the text of the Resolution currently before the Strasburg Town Council, which will meet Monday November 30 to discuss this issue:
>>>Nullification RESOLUTION OF THE STRASBURG TOWN COUNCIL<<<
WHEREAS, the Constitution of Virginia Article 1 section 1 states, “That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.” And,
WHEREAS, the Constitution of Virginia Article 1 section 12 states, “That the freedoms of speech and of the press are among the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained except by despotic governments; that any citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; that the General Assembly shall not pass any law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, nor the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for the redress of grievances.” And,
WHEREAS, Governor Northam, through an unlegislated order, is prohibiting the gathering of more than 25 citizens at a single time; and,
WHEREAS this order is clearly in violation of the Constitution of Virginia Article 1 and sections 1 and 12; and,
WHEREAS, the Center For Disease Control has stated that the virus has brought on a mental health crisis in this nation because of the shutdown over the virus, with 40.9% of CDC survey respondents stating they are having substance abuse or mental health problems because of the shutdown
WHEREAS the Center for Disease Control has also stated that the suicide ideation rate has increased significantly because of the separation of families and people from one another
WHEREAS the Center for Disease Control has also stated that this mental health crisis has been especially prominent among those aged 18-24, and those who are unpaid caregivers are at an even greater risk
THEREFORE, the Strasburg Town Council will not recognize the Governor’s pursuant to the Constitution of Virginia Article 1 section 2 which states, “That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people, that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.” And,
THEREFORE, the Strasburg Town Council ORDERS its Police Chief to not enforce any edict from the Governor and that the Town Council will not fund any attempt by the Strasburg Police Department to enforce these unconstitutional orders,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Strasburg Town Council requests the Court Commonwealth’s Attorney to not prosecute the unconstitutional mandates prohibiting the people’s right to peaceably assemble, and for the Chief of the Strasburg Town Police to not arrest any Town resident or visitor for violations of the Governor’s latest edict.