News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

A nation of laws

The Founders of this nation feared and detested one thing above all others: arbitrary power.

That’s why the United States of America was created to be a nation of laws, not of men. That’s why presidents should not intervene in judicial matters. It’s also why the City of Sisters should not have the power to determine what individual businesses can or can’t set up shop here.

Cities establish zoning to set what types of businesses are allowed in a particular area. Once that zoning is established, the government cannot decide what individual business is “allowed.” If a business fits the zoning and code criteria, they have a right under the law to operate.

Neither City staff, nor the Planning Commission, nor the City Council can decide that they like Business A and they don’t like Business B, so Business B is out of luck. And that’s as it should be. No government should be able to arbitrarily discriminate and pick who gets to enter the marketplace.

Not everybody is going to be happy with every outcome under such a system. But those who would seek satisfaction by allowing government to dictate who wins and who loses in the local economy might do well to consider how unhappy they would be if that kind of arbitrary power was turned on them.

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


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