In a 6-0 vote of the White Fish City Council, the city voted for the suspension of personal liberties in the event that Governor Gianforte removes the mask mandate installed by Governor Bullock back when the medical community wrongly presumed COVID-19 was deadlier than the flu. Bullock’s order was initially given under limited emergency powers provided in Montana law and has been enforced by a handful of county health boards who claim such power filed under Title 50, Health and Safety Chapter 2: Local Boards of Health.
However, there is no provision in the Montana constitution that permits a city council to suspend laws in a health crisis, whether real or manufactured. There are no “emergency powers” delegated to individual municipalities under Montana law. The city council acted uniformly to effectively declare martial law (the suspension of laws by executive fiat in a supposed emergency) over the city and claim for itself powers not granted it under the Montana Constitution.
Yesterday, the Montana Gazette ran an op-ed detailing the level of pressure placed upon the citizens of Whitefish in regard to masking entitled WHITEFISH MONTANA: Peer Pressure to Mask Up at Epic Proportions. Taxpayer-funded signage has been found around town, aggrandizing local officials by letting them virtue-twerk with photos stylishly modeling masks and ordering their neighbors to cover their faces.
It appears that Whitefish Montana, a progressive hamlet in an otherwise conservative part of the state, is not satisfied with brow-beating their citizenry into engaging in superstition and pseudo-science. Fearing Gianforte’s next move, they just suspended the rule of law on account of a mild respiratory virus that has claimed fewer Montana lives than Planned Parenthood.