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Did A Town In California Just Secede From the United States?

Did A Town In California Just Secede From the United States?

The town of Oroville, California, passed a resolution earlier this month to declare itself a “Constitutional Republic” separate from the laws of the state of California and the United States itself in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s COVID19 protocols.

A simple ask of the Google will tell you that a Constitutional Republic is “a state where the chief executive and representatives are elected, and the rules are set down in a written constitution. … Constitutional Republics usually have a separation of powers. The separation of powers means that no single officeholder gets unlimited power. What their power is limited to is written in the constitution. If there is a dispute about what the constitution means, this is decided by a court system that is independent of the representatives.” According to several online reports, the city of Oroville will no longer enforce “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.” What could possibly go wrong?



The resolution, passed in a 6-1 vote at the Nov. 2 council meeting, was passed to “reaffirm to people what type of government we live under,” said Mayor Chuck Reynolds. “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,” said Reynolds.

Oroville 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. He cited ever-changing Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules; the requirement that all vacant city property development has to be approved by the California State Housing and Community Development department before proceeding; and the state and federal mandates related to masks and COVID-19 vaccines.

The resolution also says that the city believes “in the separation of powers, individual rights, and the rule of law outlined in the United States Constitution, including the freedom for local government to have local control over issues related to the citizens who reside within the City’s jurisdictional boundaries.”

But the city’s declaration does not shield it from following federal and state laws, said Lisa Pruitt, a rural law expert at the University of California, Davis, who said it was not clear what the designation meant. “A municipality cannot unilaterally declare itself not subject to the laws of the state of California,” Pruitt told The Guardian. “Whatever they mean by constitutional republic you can’t say hocus pocus and make it happen.”



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