In another sign of the far-right’s dissatisfaction with Gov. Mark Gordon’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, seven members of the Wyoming Legislature signed on to a letter questioning his actions.
The two-page letter, penned by frequent critic Rep. Scott Clem of Gillette and co-signed by six other members, was sent to the governor on Wednesday and posted on numerous Facebook accounts.
The 20-plus questions in the letter ranged from broad constitutional inquiries to asking for the specific studies proving that a visit to the barber is more safe than going to the dentist or going to a hardware store is safer than going to church.
The two latter examples illustrate what will be and won’t be allowed under the governor’s modified orders which take effect on May 1.
Also surfacing in the letter was a familiar theme of Clem’s that the governor’s administration has overstepped its role.
“What legal authority is your administration relying upon that allows you to suspend constitutional rights, specifically the right to assemble and the right to worship?” the letter asks. “How does any statutory reference supersede the US and Wyoming constitution? Please provide documentation.”
While Gordon’s public health orders designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus specifically prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people, they did not order the closure of churches.
Though most of the letter stays away from open criticism, at least one section did appear to criticize conclusions made by the State Department of Health.
“How does the department of health calculate probable cases?” the letter asks. “The department of health gives no explanation and the probable cases appear to be little more than guesses.”
No timeline for a response was requested.
The letter was also signed by Reps. Dan Laursen of Powell, Tim Hallinan of Gillette, Mark Jennings of Sheridan, John Winter of Thermopolis, Roy Edwards of Gillette, and Sen. Lynn Hutchings of Cheyenne.