The past year has been a true challenge for small businesses, especially restaurants.
Government regulatory mandates, piled on top of challenges posed by the COVID pandemic itself, have made it difficult, if not impossible for many restaurants to remain in business. And Blue-state governments have little if any regard for the damage their mandates cause to these small businesses.
That’s why I’m pleased to tell you that Liberty Guard secured a major court victory against abusive government regulatory abuses. But the fight isn’t over.
Every day brings new evidence of governments from New York to California going after small businesses.
This is why I must ask that you support our Small Business Defense Project right now.
Recently, we were told about a family-owned restaurant in Virginia that was the first, if not the first in the state to be ordered closed by that state’s liberal governor, Ralph Northam (who was defeated last November by a conservative Republican!).
The business, Gourmeltz, is owned by Matt Strickland, a U.S. Army veteran who served our nation as a combat medic overseas in Afghanistan.
Matt built his business from scratch, and the community loves it.
But when Matt was instructed to shut down half his dining room and make structural changes that contradicted fire codes and common sense, he refused . . . and of course Northam’s government went after him.
Liberty Guard stepped in to represent Matt when he was sued by Northam’s Attorney General to force him to shut his doors.
As the lead attorney for Gourmeltz, I sat in awe in the courtroom as the Commonwealth’s Assistant Attorney General told the Circuit Court Judge that “there’s no Constitutional right to run a restaurant.”
It was a brash and incorrect assertion that is no different than saying Americans have no Constitutional right to earn a living.
The 14th Amendment to our Constitution is crystal clear:
No state shall “deprive any person or life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
I argued in court that Matt was denied Due Process be being ordered to shut down without an opportunity to challenge the mandates imposed by Gov. Northam’s ever-more onerous executive orders.
Thankfully, the judge in the case denied Virginia’s request to order Matt to close his doors . . . but the battle is far from over.
As we all know, governments don’t give up easily when they are challenged. And I expect them do all that they can to set an example with Matt and deter other business owners from challenging their power. The regulatory agencies now are seeking to levy massive fines on Gourmeltz for having the gall to stand against their edicts. Even worse, they are using their licensing power to take away the licenses he needs in order to remain in business.
After all, that’s what government does.
When I arrived in Virginia the day before Matt’s court hearing, I stopped by Matt’s restaurant for lunch.
As I was enjoying a great brisket sandwich, I noticed Matt’s wife visibly upset and on the phone. Roaming around the restaurant was a fire marshal who showed up for a spot inspection.
Maria quickly proved to the marshal that they were in compliance, and he left while Maria took a seat at my table. She was shaking as she explained that what I just witnessed was the FOURTH government inspector that walked through their doors that day.
The government was sending a clear warning to Maria and her husband Matt:
WE ARE WATCHING YOU!
Government hates to have their authority challenged, and it takes bravery to risk your livelihood to do take them on.
Matt showed his bravery on foreign battlefields and now he’s showing it in his own hometown.
Stay tuned and I’ll let you know as soon as we get notice to head back to court for Matt. We need you there with us, supporting Liberty Guard so Liberty Guard can support true patriots like Matt.
And again, please support our ongoing mission by making a donation today.