Tulare’s Sheriff Says He Won’t Enforce Stay-at-Home Orders
Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux waded into the debate over social distancing measures Sunday with a tweet that said he would not be enforcing stay-at-home orders.
I received a call from a Church goer asking if they could hold services. As Sheriff I will not enforce stay at home orders. I explained the importance of a good social distancing plan which they agreed. MJ stores open but churches closed don’t add up. Enjoy your first amendment.— Mike Boudreaux (@MikeBoudreaux4) May 17, 2020
Reactions to Boudreaux’s tweets were mixed. Some thanked him for standing up for religious freedom. Others noted that sheriffs can’t cherry pick the laws they’ll enforce. His reply to that? “The constitution is clear.”
Boudreaux isn’t alone in his defiance. On Friday, the City of Atwater declared itself a "sanctuary city" for businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. A resolution approved by the City Council “affirms the city's commitment to fundamental constitutional rights.” Atwater is allowing businesses and nonprofit organizations like churches to open their doors irrespective of county or state decrees.
A day after the sheriff's tweet, Gavin Newsom announced new reopening guidelines for counties that change the dynamics significantly. But prudence is still warranted. Church reopenings in both Butte and Mendocino counties, which went against shelter-in-place orders, have already had negative consequences.