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Hawkins County a Constitutional Sanctuary?

Updated: May 8

The Hawkins County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to vote at its Monday January 24 meeting on a resolution to make Hawkins County a Constitutional Sanctuary County.

Not to be confused with left-wing “sanctuary cities,” which pledge to protect illegal immigrants and other criminals from prosecution, “constitutional sanctuaries” pledge to protect God-given rights of citizens guaranteed by Federal and State Constitutions and Bills of Rights.

Nearly all Tennessee counties, including Hawkins and the rest of east Tennessee, and many counties in other states, have passed resolutions declaring themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries in support of gun rights.

A much smaller number of U.S. counties—less than a dozen by this author’s count—has pledged to protect all individual rights and to obey all constraints on government specified by U.S. and state constitutions and their bills of rights.

The local group, Grass Roots Patriots of Hawkins County, took the initiative to draft a resolution in collaboration with 5th District Commissioner Mark Dewitte, who will introduce the resolution at the January County Board of Commissioners meeting.

According to Woody Boyd, who worked with Dewitte on the resolution wording, “We’re in the midst of an epic migration from blue to red states. A lot of the migrants are God-fearing conservatives that appreciate east Tennessee values. Some are lefties trying to escape the consequences of stupid policies they’ve supported for years. Passing this resolution will make a clear statement that we welcome those who share our values. Others should look elsewhere.”

The Resolution stipulates in part that:

Hawkins County declares itself to be a Constitutional Sanctuary County and reaffirms the protections of liberty found in the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state of Tennessee.

That no agent, employee or official of Hawkins County in his or her official capacity shall knowingly participate, whether by act or by omission, in conduct that infringes upon any individual’s rights, as expressed by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Tennessee.

[And furthermore,] that any agent, employee or official of Hawkins County is encouraged to decline to participate in any action by either the State of Tennessee or the Federal government, when in the opinion of the agent, employee or official of Hawkins County said action may result in the infringement of any right of a citizen of Hawkins County as enumerated in either the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Tennessee.

The Resolution will be discussed and voted on at the Commission meeting starting 6:00 pm Monday January 24 in Room 214 of the County Courthouse in Rogersville. Individuals wishing to make their opinions known to their commissioners can obtain names and contact info for their commissioners (and identify their commission district if not known) at, which also has the full text of the resolution.

Jack Parker

Publish in The Rogersville Review - Apr 17, 2023

Jack Parker and his wife Denise live and work on a farm in Poor Valley.

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