MAYVILLE – As national health officials from the Centers for Disease Control urge the public to avoid gatherings with people not from their own household during the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday due to COVID-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this week also called on law enforcement to help enforce his executive order of 10 or fewer people at private gatherings.
On Wednesday, Cuomo said law enforcement officers who are declaring they will not enforce a 10-person limit on gatherings are violating their constitutional oath to uphold the law. One of those individuals is Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone, who said during virtual Town Hall Meeting this week with other county officials that he and other sheriff’s across the state feel the executive order is unconstitutional.
“One of the things we will continue to say is that we will not enforce anything that violates constitutional rights, but we will continue to encourage people to [practice safety] and remind people that we all have rights, we will respect those rights, but with every right we have a responsibility also. That responsibility is to now keep our neighbors, our friends, and our family safe. This is not the time to get lax when it comes to precautions,” Quatrone said.
Assemblyman Andrew Goodell– who voted to cede emergency powers to the Governor earlier this year due to COVID-19 – also pointed out the unconstitutionality of his limit on private gatherings.