California 'sanctuary city' declares itself a Constitutional Republic to fight COVID mandates

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A city council in California overwhelmingly voted to declare the city a “Constitutional Republic City” to protect its citizens’ rights in light of federal and state mandates. 

“What we are doing is protecting our citizens’ rights as much as we can on the local level,” Oroville Vice Mayor Scott Thompson told Fox News Digital. 

“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,” he added. “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.” 

Thompson requested the measure, which was passed 6-1 by the city council on Nov. 2. The resolution is intended to allow the city to opt out of 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.”

It is not tied to one specific mandate, such as President Biden’s vaccine mandate on businesses, with Thompson telling ABC 7 that it’s in response to “the large amount of mandates that are affecting every aspect of our lives and our kids’ lives.” 

As President Biden’s tenure in the White House hits the 100-day milestone, media watchdogs and journalism professors alike have noticed that journalists are "overwhelmingly favorable, polite, and gentle" when covering the current administration. 
(Getty Images)

The resolution states 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.”

“It’s about local government taking care of its citizens period and that what we’re doing,” Councilor Dave Pittman said, according to the East Bay Times.

Thompson told Fox News that each mandate will be handled differently and that the city council would handle any potential legal fights based on a majority vote. 

“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. Our state representatives have been trying to get through to our governor for him to hear that just because something works well for big cities like Sacramento or San Francisco does not mean that the same thing holds true for rural areas like Oroville,” Thompson said. Oroville is located in Northern California, about 70 miles north of Sacramento. 

“If he would allow more local control or listen to our representatives, we would not be here,” he added in his comments to Fox News. 

The resolution can be modified at any time, which will not put it at risk of losing funding, according to City Attorney Scott Huber.

The Oroville City Council in California. Left to Right:  Art Hatley, David Pittman, Krysi Riggs, Scott Thomson

“I am quite certain that this would not result in any loss of funding for the city,” Huber told ABC7. “In the event that it could in the future you could revise this and do what you will but this is not going to put it jeopardy any state or federal funding.”

Councilmember Art Hartley described the resolution as a “political statement” that has “absolutely no teeth,” while Thompson described it as a “line in the sand.”

“It’s just basically drawing the line. It’s not necessarily against one specific mandate, we’re not talking about one mandate that’s been pushing on us recently it’s a barrage of mandates,” Thompson told local media earlier this month. 

Mayor Chuck Reynolds added that the resolution was passed to “reaffirm to people what type of government we live under.”

“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.

California has faced repeated mandates revolving around the coronavirus. The state became the first in the nation last month to announce a public school student vaccination mandate, which has sparked protests. 

In this Sept. 14, 2021, file photo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks in San Francisco. On Thursday, he signed a series of police reform measures in an effort to increase transparency. 
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

More than 1,000 people congregated in Sacramento last month to speak out against the announcement. Parents carried signs reading, “My children won’t be a science experiment to make you feel safe,” and “My body, my choice.”


“The American culture and way of life is being challenged at its very core and perverted by radicalized politicians who have forgotten that, as a republic, the power belongs to the people,” Thompson said in comments of the resolution.

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