Jonesy Challenges Teton County Wyoming edict

Official Notice to all Public Officials of Teton County Wyoming and City of Jackson Wyoming

Under the auspices of “public health and safety”, Teton County and also the City of Jackson Wyoming promulgated orders which violate the basic rights of citizens.  These basic rights are enumerated and guaranteed in both the USA and Wyoming Constitutions.  “Deprivation of Rights by a Public Official” is a crime under the United States Code.

Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; For the purpose of Section 242, acts under “color of law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official’s lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties.
From DOJ web page;  Deprivation of Rights by a public official

 The Constitution, Bill of Rights, First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting… the right of the people peaceably to assemble…

The Fourteenth Amendment says, “…nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;”

The Wyoming Constitution Declaration of Rights says, “Sec. 7. ..Absolute, arbitrary power over the lives, liberty and property of freemen exists nowhere in the republic, not even in the largest majority.” and “Sec. 21.  Right of petition and peaceable assembly.  The right of petition, and of the people peaceably to assemble… shall never be denied or abridged.”

The Miranda Decision, United States Supreme Court, (1966), Key 73, says, “Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rulemaking or legislation which would abrogate them.”

In spite of the above, Teton County adopted the following order:

“Order requiring all people within Teton County, Wyoming, including the city of Jackson, Wyoming to limit gatherings to only individuals within the same household…”

A Teton County official is quoted in the paper, “Yes, it is a stay-at-home order.”

The City of Jackson adopted a similar order but then rescinded it, deferring to the County.

That Order violates the Constitutions of both the United States of America and of Wyoming, as enumerated above and as clarified in the Miranda decision.  The order violates “the right of the people peaceably to assemble“.  The Order violates our right of “liberty”, to travel when and where we wish.  This Health Order has also taken the citizens’ “property without due process of law”.  We cannot earn a living (property) if confined to our homes.  Without a paycheck we cannot pay our bills including our mortgages and car payments, therefore it is a real takings.  Yes, item 7 of the Order gives an exception for a worker to leave his/her home to go to work, but the jobs of almost all people require them to associate with people who are not of their household.  Therefore a clerk at a store is violating your edict by merely going to work.

It is acknowledged that congress may act in concert with the will of the people to designate a serious contagious disease such as smallpox as a “public health threat” and thus impose restrictions.  But there is no Constitutional authority for a state or county health department to confine all people to their homes.  To do so is “deprivation of rights” and is a crime.

Conclusion: The Constitution for the United States of America is the Supreme Law of the Land.  The Wyoming Constitution applies to Teton County.  Elected and appointed officials are sworn to uphold those Constitutions.  You who signed on to this Public Health Order 20-4 are guilty of violating your oath, violating both Constitutions, and depriving citizens of our rights.

To avoid charges of violation of rights, County officials should immediately rescind the order or revise the order to a lawful request rather than a mandatory edict.  Failure to do so may result in criminal charges being filed against you. You have now been put on notice.

We, the undersigned citizens, hereby respectfully request that our public officials rescind these unconstitutional orders.  Your failure to do so may prompt us to file criminal charges.

[we had a dozen signatures on it and other people emailed their signed copy]

ADDENDUM: part of my reply to a legislator

I want to make it very clear that we do not want this to go to court and have a big accusation of criminal violation of our rights.  We want to simply educate public officials to the fact that their edicts have to comply with the Constitution.  Actually, calling them edicts or orders is not an acceptable way to conduct public policy in a constitutional republic.
Under the Constitution it is by “consent of the governed”.

County health officials must understand that in the performance of their duties they must make sure to protect the rights of the citizens.  Yes, they have the right to quarantine a certain person or a certain family because of a very serious disease such as smallpox or perhaps even Wuhan flu that the person or family is proven to have.  But health officials do not have the right to shut down businesses and quarantine otherwise healthy people in their homes.

County commissioners and others do not have that right either.  If it comes to that big of an emergency, then the Congress of the United States, who are elected to represent the people in making laws, would have the right to argue their case that for the public health of everybody concerned a certain thing needs to be done.  In extremely severe cases martial law could be implemented.

About Jonesy

Born and raised in Arizona. I've lived in Wyoming since 1983, currently in Jackson Hole. A lifetime of working with horses, taking tourists on trails in the high mountains, including scenic summer trips and fall hunting. I owned a gun shop for 5 years. I owned numerous other businesses over the decades. Active in conservative politics. So my "Cowboy Common Sense" draws on a LOT of life experiences.

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