Idaho’s official state motto may be “esto perpetua” (“let it be perpetual”), but its unofficial motto has always tended more toward “Don’t tread on me.”
In some parts of the state, residents and even a state senator are pushing back on Governor Brad Little’s stay-at-home order that was first imposed on March 25.
Near the state’s capital of Boise, Amon Bundy has been holding face-to-face meetings for concerned citizens in a warehouse, violating the order in order to discuss what to do about the order if it becomes too restrictive for businesses in the state.
Bundy is no stranger to resisting government action. In 2016, he led a 41-day armed standoff to protest government takeover of an Oregon wildlife refuge. Now, he wants to be a voice against what he feels could be government overreach.
Churches, state senator join chorus
Besides Bundy, State Rep. Heather Scott of the Blanchard area is also telling her constituents to push back against the governor’s stay-at-home order, saying they have “a God-given constitutionally protected right to peacefully assemble.”
Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler posted an open letter requesting the legislature meet to debate the governor’s order, KTVB7 news reported. Wheeler says that health officials are “misleading” the public about the outbreak and that people who are not sick need to be allowed to “go on with” their “normal business.”
Then there’s Tim Remington, a Coeur d’Alene pastor and newly appointed state representative, who held an in-person service on March 29 after the order went into effect.
As of Monday, Idaho had more than 1,100 cases of the virus and 13 deaths.
Dissenters say order violates state constitution
Those voicing dissent over the stay-at-home order say it violates Idaho’s state constitution. “It is not the role of government to be picking and choosing which businesses are essential and which ones are not,” said Scott, according to KTVB.
Little understands the sentiment and told the Idaho Statesman that he did not order the stay-at-home measures lightly.
“This is not my natural state at all,” Little said, “in a state, the most unregulated state in the union, that’s my natural state. But the safety of the people of Idaho is paramount. … It’s a heavy responsibility to me.”
We’ll see what happens. Could we be facing a day when Americans all over the country begin to feel that the shutdowns have gone on long enough?