Don’t Mess with Colorado: Attorney General Phil Weiser says Gunnison County public health order is constitutional and calls for collaborative problem solving
April 10, 2020 (DENVER, Colo.)— Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser released the following statement supporting the legality of Gunnison County’s public health order that local officials issued to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic:
“Gunnison County, like many Colorado mountain communities, faces a serious public health crisis because of COVID-19. Colorado law recognizes that, to protect their communities, local public health authorities are often best situated to make decisions and adopt and enforce public health orders based on their expertise and knowledge of local circumstances. Governor Polis’ stay-at-home executive order also specifically authorizes local government to adopt more stringent orders than the State.
“Gunnison County’s order applies equally to Colorado and non-Colorado residents who own second homes or are visiting in the community and seeks to address the needs of the community to respond to this pandemic. Any suggestion that their order violates the U.S. Constitution is misguided.
“To be sure, any order requiring people to travel from an area should be implemented equally to Coloradans and non-Coloradans and be managed in a sensitive and humane manner so as not to endanger any individuals residing in that community. In all events, however, local governments have the authority to adopt such an order based on their health needs under both Colorado law and the U.S. Constitution.”
Contact: Lawrence Pacheco
Director of Communications
Mobile: (720) 245-4689