Rhode Island: Burrillville council says Raimondo’s coronavirus orders are unconstitutional, declares ‘First Amendment Sanctuary’

June 25, 2020 | By G. Wayne Miller | Providence Journal |

BURRILLVILLE — The Town Council on Wednesday voted 5 to 2 to declare Burrillville a “First Amendment Sanctuary Town,” stating in a resolution that executive orders by Gov. Gina Raimondo on social distancing, crowd size and other coronavirus-control measures have caused “substantial harm to the emotional, spiritual and financial well-being” of residents.

The resolution declares the governor’s executive orders to be unconstitutional and describes the pandemic as “the Wuhan-origin Coronavirus (Covid-19),” a reference to the city in China where the microbe is believed to have first infected humans.

The resolution also declares the council’s “support for the town administration, including the Burrillville Police Department, in the exercise of its sound discretion not to enforce unconstitutional executive orders related to the Wuhan-origin Coronavirus (Covid-19).”

It further declares that “the Burrillville Town Council will not appropriate funds for staffing, overtime, and/or expenses for work related to the execution of the unconstitutional executive orders related to the Wuhan-origin Coronavirus (Covid-19) that infringe on the aforesaid constitutional rights of the People of the Town of Burrillville to freedom of religion, assembly and redress of grievances.”

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