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If a ‘rebellion’ has begun, it’s got a sterling pedigree

North State Journal reporter A.P. Dillon tweeted out a report on “Local leaders challenging executive order provisions” this morning. The report highlighted:

  • Randolph County district attorney Andrew Gregson, who refuses to prosecute individuals for violating Gov. Roy Cooper’s shutdown order because he believes that would violate his oath of office to uphold both the federal and state constitutions.
  • Johnston County sheriff Steve Bizzell, who released a statement against Cooper’s order’s treatment of church services and “went on to say that he and his deputies took an oath to support, maintain, and defend the Constitution for the people of this country and said ‘lay down my badge and go home’ before interfering in the rights of churchgoers to peaceably assemble and exercise their constitutional rights.”
  • Gaston, Onslow, and Randolph counties passing resolutions “seeking more local control of the coronavirus response.”

This week, Carolina Journal reporting has covered the growing chorus of calls across the state for Cooper to reopen N.C., discussed neighboring states reopening gyms and fitness centers, and showed how dire things are for still-shuttered restaurants and bars.

CJ reporting has also highlighted the increasing pushback against Cooper’s order against church services:

  • Several lawmakers challenging its constitutionality
  • The N.C. Sheriffs Association calling for it to be amended to allow indoor church services
  • Hundreds of churches planning to sue

Dillon wondered: “A rebellion has begun?

Harassing our people, eating out their substance

Despite over a million new unemployment claims having been filed in under two months since Cooper’s shutdown orders began, what we’ve seen is:

  • a tattoo artist in Apex arrested for reopening
  • protesters arrested in Raleigh for violating “social-distancing” orders
  • a hairstylist in Roxboro shut down and threatened with the possibility of license revocation for reopening
  • protesters arrested in Greensboro for violating “social-distancing” orders
  • a nonprofit worker issued a citation in Charlotte for being at a spa (police said the spa was operating as a spa, but she said they were collecting and distributing virus-related donations)
  • dozens of people handed expensive civil fines for being on public beaches
  • protesters arrested in Charlotte for violating “social-distancing” orders
  • a bill to allow businesses to reopen without arrests, high fines, or license revocations criticized by the governor’s office as “dangerous”’

While people struggle to provide for their families, these police-state acts to uphold Cooper’s rule by fiat call to mind one of the charges laid against King George III in the Declaration of Independence:

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

It’s encouraging when the sheriffs and DAs refuse to be a part of it and cite their oaths of office to uphold the federal and state constitutions. They’re right.

If this is a rebellion, then it’s got a sterling American pedigree.

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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