Image: This very sad protester expressed her disdain for Governor Abbott’s and County Judge Mark Keough’s trampling upon her right to assemble peaceably under the United States and Texas Constitutions.
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe, May 4 – Several hundred citizens assembled peaceably in front of and around the Montgomery County Courthouse on Saturday morning, May 2, 2020, in order to protest government lockdowns and shutdowns during the panic over the Chinese Coronavirus, also known as the Wuhan Virus or Kung Flu. The premier protester held a sign stating, “Give us back our playgrounds. Sunshine is ‘Essential'” in reference to Governor Abbott’s continued order, Executive Order GA-18, which prohibits children from playing in playgrounds with children who are not from the same households.
Jay Wright, candidate for Chief Justice of the Ninth Court of Appeals at Beaumont in the July 14, 2020, Republican Runoff Election spoke to the crowd about protecting their constitutional rights. Eric Yollick, candidate for 457th District Court Judge in the July 14 Republican Runoff Election, also spoke and urged citizens to fight for their rights under the United States Constitution.
Several other speakers, including conservative icon Jon Bouche and conservative activist Virginia Young, addressed the gathering, which called for reopening Texas and an end to the lockdown orders which clearly violate the Texas and United States Constitutions and go far beyond any grant of authority under the Texas Government Code.
Sean Ricker, a leading conservative Republican activist from Magnolia, protested the recent criminalization of hair cuts and hair salons while holding a sign which said “Decriminalize Hair Cuts” and had scissors and something which appeared to be a comb. Ricker commented on social media on Friday, May 1, “Well, I HAD an appointment with my barber at 4. That is until I got the call that the…[expletive deleted] sheriff department shut them down. Thanks a lot Sheriff Rand Henderson you,,.[expletive deleted]…Your own order said they were allowed to stay open. Sheriffs are our last line of defense against the feds and the state. Glad to know where you’ll stand when we really need you.”
The Montgomery County Young Republicans, whose leaders include Brad Spratt as Chairman and Jason Millsaps as Vice Chairman, among others, issued two complaints on social media about shutting down hair salons over the past weekend:
“BREAKING NEWS: MCSO SHUTS DOWN BARBER SHOP
“This story has been updated as details have emerged. Arrest were not threatened. However, the shop closed in order to prevent customers from receiving citations.
“Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputies have shut down a barber shop in the Magnolia area under threat of issuing citations to customers.
“The shop was told to close or deputies would fine customers.”
The Young Republicans also posted the following meme:
What’s particularly troubling is that Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough, County Attorney BD Griffin, and District Attorney Brett Ligon seem to have reversed their positions from early in the week, even though the law and the United States and Texas Constitutions have not changed during that time period. During the April 28, 2020, meeting of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court, Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley asked an important question: “If we open up a couple of barber shops in Magnolia, no one is going to come shut them down?”
In response, Judge Keough answered, “That’s correct.”
Sadly, Keough, Griffin, Ligon, and the Sheriff seem to have decided that they’ll play politics rather than uphold their oaths to defend and uphold the Constitution. This newspaper has spoken with several patrol officers within the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office who have expressed, on the condition of anonymity, that they are very upset that Sheriff Henderson and other law enforcement leaders have placed them in the “untenable position” of having to enforce “made up rules to prevent people from working and earning a living.”
On Tuesday, April 28, even Keough, before changing his tune, stated in a video, “The most difficult part of that for me is that we’re only opening up at 25% occupancy for two weeks…and then we get the chance to open up to 50% in the future, and then maybe 75%…But it’s not just that. It’s who is the Governor choosing as a winner or a loser in their opening. For example…dentists can reopen and they have their hands in your mouth for two or three hours…But the fact of the matter is that we’re closing hair salons who take 15 minutes to cut your hair when what the dentists are doing is much more intimate and invasive. I have a problem with that as your County Judge. I’m doing everything to move this County forward.”
The County Judge continued before changing his mind, “The businesses he said in his orders would be closed are not in his orders as closed. He just said he advised people to stay away from a certain type of businesses. It is unclear. It is vague. And like a number of things that have come out recently are very inconsistent…Because of the vagueness of this order, we’re not going to keep hair salons, or any of these things, we’re not going to keep them closed, because that’s not what the order says…As far as we’re concerned, you can be open.”