Supervisors in Campbell County, Virginia have become the first in the state to officially reject Governor Ralph Northam’s New York-style COVID restrictions, voting unanimously in favor of a resolution to do so Tuesday night.
As I recently reported for National File, several Lynchburg area counties have been mulling similar resolutions, and the idea is starting to pick up steam statewide, drawing comparisons to the Second Amendment sanctuary movement that swept the state in late 2019, a direct result of Northam’s attacks on gun rights.
Drawing inspiration from that movement, the County of Campbell declared itself a First Amendment sanctuary in passing Tuesday’s resolution, which seeks to invalidate Northam’s lockdown orders at the local level.
The resolution calls Northam’s lockdown a direct violation of the Constitutions of Virginia and the United States, specifically the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution which guarantees the rights of citizens to peaceably assemble.
Additionally, the resolution bars the use of county funds to enforce Northam’s order and instructs local law enforcement to “not assist any state law enforcement officer, state health agent, or federal agent” in lockdown enforcement.
“It’s a sad day in the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Virginia when a Governor using unlegislated mandates is harassing, fining citizens, business owners, and elected officials, forcing compliance through fear and intimidation,” said Concord District Supervisor Matt Cline, the resolution’s patron.
During a Wednesday press conference in Richmond, Governor Northam threatened county officials with police action. “I expect that law enforcement will be part of the solution here,” he told reporters.