A chief law enforcement officer has decided against enforcing New York’s latest restrictions on home gatherings.
This Thanksgiving, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office will not arrest anybody suspected of breaching New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) executive order to limit indoor gatherings to 10 people.
County Sheriff Richard Giardino will exercise his constitutional right to refuse to participate in regulatory overreach, even if Cuomo claims the order will help contain the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus.
“With regard to the Thanksgiving executive order, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office will not be enforcing it against our county residents,” he said on Facebook. “An executive order applying directly to citizens for their private conduct is usually not a law in the sense that there are no penalties attached, and you cannot be arrested.”
Giardino expressed serious doubt about whether the executive order would survive scrutiny from the legal system and suspects a separate civil court challenge could be on the way. He also promised not to contest any potential lawsuits trying to overturn Cuomo’s order.
“Frankly, I am not sure it could sustain a constitutional challenge in court for several reasons, including your house is your castle,” he said. “As a sheriff with a law degree, I could not, in good faith, attempt to defend it court, so I will not.”
The sheriff revealed the executive order could only withstand a court challenge if the state government only tried to enforce the rule on private enterprises.
“Businesses are different,” he said. “An executive order can authorize the State Health Department, the State Liquor Authority, the State Department of Taxation and Finance, and other similar agencies with jurisdiction over businesses to write up, suspend, or revoke their licenses, and/or fine a business for a violation.”
He believes New Yorkers must learn to live with the pandemic and decide for themselves how often they wear face masks, social distance themselves, and wash and disinfect their hands.
“Obtaining a search warrant to enter your home to see how many turkey or tofu eaters are present is not a priority—we will not be doing that,” he said. “Monitoring family dinners are not our priority, so do not feel a need to hide cars, cover with leaves or walk three blocks, so your house does not become a target of the governor’s executive order.”
He also hopes that letting Americans decide for themselves will help relieve regulatory stress during the Thanksgiving holiday period.
“The constant barrage of government regulations and control over your daily lives has added to mass depression, the exacerbation of other medical conditions due to stress, and the disruption of your normal routine,” he said. “Most people want a time to be thankful for the good things we have, including family and friends.”