The Sebastian County Quorum Court met on Tuesday evening, May 26, at the Greenwood High School safe shelter. The meeting was rescheduled from last week, after technical difficulties forced an early adjournment. Among the items on the agenda, a Constitutional Bill of Rights Sanctuary Ordinance.
District 3 JP Shawn Looper introduced the ordinance. Second Amendment advocate and patriot Wade Dunn spoke in favor of the ordinance, citing it is the duty of the elected to ensure that citizen’s God given rights are protected.
Also present, State Representative Marcus Richmond, who supported an identical ordinance which passed in his district in January. Scott County, was the first Arkansas county to approve such an ordinance.
The ordinance declares that the county would not enforce any law that is considered unconstitutional, a Bill of Rights Sanctuary.
Following the declaration in Scott County, Mike Rainwater, an attorney for the Association of Arkansas Counties Risk Management Fund, wrote a letter addressed to all 75 county judges in Arkansas. Rainwater’s letter stated: “Proposed County Sanctuary Ordinances – BEWARE!!…There are county sanctuary ordinance proposals going around that need to be carefully scrutinized…The real effort is to set the county in opposition to the constitutional system that has served us well for 200+ years…There is simply no need for any county to declare itself a sovereign jurisdiction that has stepped forward to create some sort of sanctuary for the protection of the individual rights of its citizens. That is the job of the state and it has already been done by the state of Arkansas. It is the state that is sovereign; not its counties.”
Proponents claim, however, that Rainwater is essentially labeling the constitution, unconstitutional and that the ordinance would curb any attempt to limit the rights of citizens. Members of the Arkansas Liberty Coalition have challenged Rainwater to attend the next quorum court meeting on June 16 and speak publicly regarding the privately addressed letter to county judges. A spokesman for the ALC said “We’re requesting Rainwater’s presence at the meeting, and would like to confirm his attendance in advance so we can ensure time is allotted on the agenda. Also, if he’s going to put his information out in closed meetings then he needs to do it publicly where ALC can present a defense.”
The Sebastian County Quorum Court took no action on the ordinance, and voted to table it until next month’s meeting.