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'Constitutional Republic City': Oroville City Council Votes To Declare COVID Independence

OROVILLE (CBS13) — The city of Oroville is getting national attention for announcing they will not follow controversial orders issued by the governor or president. The fight stems from a number of federal and state pandemic protection mandates.

Oroville city leaders are launching a resolution revolution. In a 6-1 vote, the city council declared Oroville a "Constitutional Republic City."

"This mandate is not saying we are against laws or for anarchy," said Scott Thomson, Oroville vice mayor.

Thomson said it's the city's effort to send a strong message to state and federal leaders.

"I think it's time for us to draw a line in the sand," he said. "Enough is enough."

The resolution resolves to not enforce "any executive orders issued by the state of California or by the United States federal government that are overreaching or clearly violate our constitutionally protected rights."

The move comes amid the controversy over closing businesses during the pandemic, along with mask and vaccine mandates

"We're not talking about one mandate that's been pushed on us recently," Thomson said. "It's a barrage of mandates."

Liza West is among the residents who oppose the resolution.

"I think that we all believe in applying the law and agree in following the law, and this is just ridiculous," West said.

So does Oroville have the right to disregard state and federal orders?

UC Davis Law Professor Lisa Pruitt says the resolution may not have any binding legal authority.

"My sense is the strong presumption would be that the city of Oroville does not have the power to do this," Pruitt said. " I see this primarily as a gesture."

It's a constitutional conflict with these city leaders fighting for more local control.

"It makes a statement that says, you know, enough is enough. We're done, we're tired," one city councilman said.

A lawsuit protesting the governor's emergency powers has been filed by two Republican lawmakers.

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