Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today issued a letter to the Gunnison County Department of Health and Human Services in Colorado, warning that its Fifth Amended Standing Health Order violated the United States Constitution by unlawfully discriminating against nonresident homeowners by demanding they vacate Gunnison County. The Privileges and Immunities Clause of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that a citizen of one state will be “treated as a welcome visitor rather than an unfriendly alien when temporarily present in another State.” 

“While I applaud several measures Gunnison County has taken to ensure the health and safety of its citizens, the banishment of nonresident Texas homeowners is entirely unconstitutional and unacceptable,” said Attorney General Paxton. “To unlawfully prevent Texans from inhabiting or enjoying property that they own, regardless of its location within the U.S., is a blatant violation of our Constitution.” 

Gunnison County’s Order claims that nonresident homeowners should be excluded from the County because they may use local resources, such as grocers and healthcare services, and while it allows nonresident homeowners to apply for an exemption to this restriction, there is no criteria for judging an exemption or to whom it would apply.  

Read a copy of the letter here.   

For information on the spread or treatment of Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services website.