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Whereas, The Lee County Board of County Commissioners has growing concerns over the federal
government’s increasing encroachment on the rights and privileges of its citizens;

Whereas, Of particular concern are those edicts being promulgated by the federal government in the form of executive orders which circumvent the legislative process and arguably violate the fundamental American doctrine of separation of powers;

Whereas, Article I, Section 1 of the Florida State Constitution recognized that, “[a]ll political power is inherent in the people…”;

Whereas, The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states, “ The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectfully, or to the people.”;

Whereas, “[…]federalism protects the liberty of the individual from arbitrary power…[and a]n individual has a direct interest in objecting to laws that upset the constitutional balance between the national government and the states when the enforcement of those laws causes injuries that is concrete, particular, and redressable. Fidelity to principles of federalism is not for the states alone to vindicate.” Bond v. United States, 564 U.S. 211, 222, 131 S. Ct 2355, 2364-65 (2011);

Whereas, “[T]he structural principles secured by the separation of powers protect the individual as well.”

Whereas, The State of Florida is divided into various counties and municipalities and Article VIII, Section 1(f) of the Florida Constitution vests counties with “such power of self-government as is provided by general or special law.”;

Whereas, Chapter 125.01, Florida Statutes specifically authorizes counties to “[a]dopt ordinances and resolutions necessary for the exercise of its powers…[and p]erform any other act not inconsistent with law, which acts are in the common interests of the people of the county, and exercise all powers and privileges not specifically prohibited by law…”;

Whereas, Chapter 125.01, Florida Statutes further provides that, “[t]he provisions of this section shall be liberally construed in order to effectively carry out the purpose of this section and to secure for the counties the broad exercise of home rule powers authorized by the state constitution.”;

Whereas, Neither the United States Congress nor the Executive Branch of the federal government has the authority to commandeer the states to act (see, e.g., Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Ass’n, 138 S. Ct. 1461 [2018]);

Whereas, The Anti-Commandeering principle is absolute and categorical. See Prinz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898, 935 (1997) (“It matters not whether policy making is evolved, and no case-by-case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty.”);

Whereas, “[W]here Congress exceeds its authority relative to the States, therefore, the departure from the constitutional plan cannot be ratified by the “consent” of state officials” New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144, 182, 112 S. Ct. 2408, 2431 (1992); and,

Whereas, The Board of County Commissioners acknowledges and affirms that the Sheriff is an

independent Constitutional Officer and not under the authority of this Board, but the Sheriff is charged with the duty to enforce County Ordinances.



This ordinance shall be known and cited as the “Bill of Rights Sanctuary County Ordinance.”


In addition to the foregoing whereas clauses, the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, hereby finds and declares:

In order to secure the rights of the citizens of Lee County as enumerated, in part, by the United

States Constitution including the first ten amendments thereto, which are commonly referred to as the Bill of Rights of that Constitution, and reads as follows:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for aid redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor intime of war, but in the manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall be issued, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject to the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartialjury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States than in accordance to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII 

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X 

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Lee County has the right to be free from the commanding hand of the federal government and has the right to refuse to cooperate with federal government officials in response to federal government measures that violate the natural rights protected by the United States Constitution, and to proclaim a

Bill of Rights Sanctuary for law abiding citizens in its county;

THEREFORE, through the enactment of this Ordinance, Lee County, Florida is hereby declared to be a Bill of Rights Sanctuary County.

SECTION THREE: Definitions

  1. An “Unlawful Act” shall consist of:

1. Any federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation, which violates or unreasonably restricts, impedes, or impinges upon an individual’s natural rights secured by the United States and Florida State Constitutions, including, but not limited to, those enumerated in Amendments I through X to the United States Constitution.

2. Any such “Unlawful Act” is invalid in Lee County and shall not be recognized by Lee

County, and shall be considered null, void, and of no effect in Lee County, Florida.

SECTION FOUR: Prohibitions

A. Notwithstanding any other law, regulation, rule, or order to the contrary, no agent,

department, employee, or official of Lee County, a political subdivision of the State of

Florida, while acting in their official capacity, shall:

    1. Intentionally participate in any way in the enforcement of any Unlawful Act; or,
    1. Utilize any assets, Lee County funds, or funds allocated by any entity to Lee County, in

whole or in part, to engage in any activity that aides in the enforcement or investigation

relating to an Unlawful Act.


A. Anyone within the jurisdiction of Lee County, Florida, accused of being in violation of this

ordinance may be sued in Circuit Court for declaratory and injunctive relief, damages, and

attorney fees.

B. In addition to the civil liability provided for in section A above, violation of this ordinance

shall be punishable in accordance with section ____________(change this to the

appropriate section and title reference) of the Lee County Code of Ordinances (General


SECTION SIX: Conflict and Severability

In the event this ordinance conflicts with any other ordinance of Lee County or other applicable

law, the more restrictive shall apply. If any phrase or portion of this ordinance is held invalid or

unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct, and independent provision, and such holdings shall not affect the validity of the remaining portion.

SECTION SEVEN: Inclusion in the Code of Laws and Ordinances

The provisions of this ordinance shall become and be made part of the code of laws and

ordinances of Lee County, Florida. The sections of the Ordinance may be renumbered or 

 to accomplish such, and the word “ordinance” may be changed to “section” or “article” or any other appropriate word.

SECTION EIGHT: Effective Date

This ordinance shall become effective upon filing with the Florida Department of State.

PASSED AND DULY ADOPTED by the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida this

___ day of ____________, 2023.

Add appropriate signatures for the Clerk of the Court and the County Board of County Commissioners.


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