By Eric Daugherty
Tuesday, the Collier County Board of Commissioners denied a new ordinance in a 3-2 vote that would make Collier County a “sanctuary county” for the United States Bill of Rights.
Commissioners Burt Saunders, Andy Solis, and Penny Taylor opposed the ordinance’s approval.
The Bill of Rights is a document containing the first ten Amendments to the United States Constitution.
Citizens and some Collier Board members expressed concern in the increasing potential of law enforcement and county resources carrying out laws and orders that violate citizens’ rights.
“Collier County has the right to be free from the commanding hand of the federal government and has the right to refuse to cooperate with federal government officials in response to unconstitutional government measures, and to proclaim a Bill of Rights Sanctuary for law-abiding citizens in its cities and county,” the ordinance proclaimed.
If the ordinance were passed, anyone accused of violating it could be sued in circuit court.
Saunders criticized the measure, saying that there is “no mechanism” to determine which federal measures violated the constitution.
Commissioners Bill McDaniel and Rick LoCastro introduced the measure. McDaniel argued he already discussed with the Collier Sheriff and one of their attorneys. The Sheriff supported the measure.
Concerns about federal grant money were expressed by critics of the measure.
After the measure was voted down, the Board unanimously approved a resolution to reaffirm “allegiance” to the Bill of Rights.
Supporters of the original ordinance argue that the resolution is merely symbolic; the former would entail legal ramifications for those who enforce unconstitutional laws.
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