COUNTY SHERIFF: POWER TO PROTECT
January 24, 2013
The local FOX affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah, has reported that the Utah Sheriff's Association has written a strongly worded letter to President Barack Obama regarding any potential federal laws that would restrict the citizens of the State of Utah from practicing their Second Amendment rights. The letter was signed by every sheriff in the State of Utah except one. The letter reads in part:
"With the number of mass shootings America has endured, it is easy to demonize firearms; it is also foolish and prejudiced. Firearms are nothing more than instruments, valuable and potentially dangerous, but instruments nonetheless. Malevolent souls, like the criminals who commit mass murders, will always exploit valuable instruments in the pursuit of evil. As professional peace officers, if we understand nothing else, we understand this: lawful violence must sometimes be employed to deter and stop criminal violence. Consequently, the citizenry must continue its ability to keep and bear arms, including arms that adequately protect them from all types of illegality."
The letter also states: "We respect the Office of the President of the United States of America. But, make no mistake, as the duly-elected sheriffs of our respective counties, we will enforce the rights guaranteed to our citizens by the Constitution. No federal official will be permitted to descend upon our constituents and take from them what the Bill of Rights--in particular Amendment II--has given them. We, like you, swore a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and we are prepared to trade our lives for the preservation of its traditional interpretation."
In addition, Utah Representative Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove, has introduced legislation that asserts State power over federal power regarding gun control. Rep. Greene's bill "would go so far as to allow local police the authority to arrest federal agents should they try to seize any firearms."
The report added: "'Acting upon those will be a third-degree felony in this state, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine,' Greene said."
Tim Mueller, the sheriff of Linn County, Oregon, has also written the White House a similar letter. Mueller's letter said in part, "Any federal regulation enacted by Congress or by executive order of the president offending the constitutional rights of my citizens shall not be enforced by me or by my deputies," adding, "Nor will I permit the enforcement of any unconstitutional regulations or orders by federal officers within the borders of Linn County, OR."
Several sheriffs in the State of Oregon have followed Sheriff Mueller's example and issued similar statements: Sheriff Jim Hensley of Crook County, Sheriff Larry Blanton of Deschutes County, Sheriff Glenn Palmer of Grant County, Sheriff Craig Zanni of Coos County, and Sheriff John Hanlin of Douglas County.
In fact, sheriffs from all over America have begun taking similar stands. One of the first was Sheriff Denny Peyman of Jackson County, Kentucky. Also add Pine County, Minnesota, Sheriff Robin Cole. Sheriff Cole said, "I do not believe the federal government or any individual in the federal government has the right to dictate to the states, counties or municipalities any mandate, regulation or administrative rule that violates the United States Constitution or its various amendments." The sheriff said that the right to bear arms is "fundamental to our individual freedoms and that firearms are part of life in our country."
A news report on the story noted, "The Sheriff said he would refuse to enforce any federal mandate that violates constitutional rights, and that he would consider any new federal regulation on guns to be illegal."
Also include Madison County, Alabama, Sheriff Blake Dorning; Smith County, Texas, Sheriff Larry Smith; and Martin County, Florida, Sheriff Bill Snyder to the list of sheriffs who are vowing to protect their citizens from the unconstitutional overreach of the federal government.
This is exactly the kind of response that is needed! No law enforcement action of any kind (county, State, or federal) can take place without the approbation of the county sheriff. Constitutionally, he is the highest law enforcement officer of the county. This is why I have repeatedly said that ultimately our freedom will be won or lost at the State and local levels.
Big Government toadies love to quote the so-called "supremacy clause" in Article. VI. Paragraph. 2. of the US Constitution. It reads, "This Constitution and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof . . . shall be the supreme law of the land." This clause, they say, gives carte blanche to federal lawmakers to usurp, negate, or expunge any local or State law--or even the Constitution itself. Such an interpretation is absolutely ludicrous!
Notice that those federal laws that are considered to be "the supreme law of the land" must be made "in Pursuance" of the existing Constitution. Nowhere is it written that federal laws that contradict the existing US Constitution are to be considered lawful. In fact, just the opposite is true. Laws, even federal laws, which contradict the Constitution, are deemed to be null and void.
In the Marbury v Madison Supreme Court decision (1803), the Constitution was firmly established as the "supreme law of the land"--not legislative acts which contradict the Constitution. In the landmark ruling, Chief Justice John Marshall, writing for the majority, said, "So if a law be in opposition to the constitution; if both the law and the constitution apply to a particular case, so that the court must either decide that case conformably to the law, disregarding the constitution; or conformably to the constitution, disregarding the law; the court must determine which of these conflicting rules governs the case. This is of the very essence of judicial duty.
"If then the courts are to regard the constitution; and the constitution is superior to any ordinary act of the legislature; the constitution, and not such ordinary act, must govern the case to which they both apply.
"Those then who controvert the principle that the constitution is to be considered, in court, as a paramount law, are reduced to the necessity of maintaining that courts must close their eyes on the constitution, and see only the law.
"This doctrine would subvert the very foundation of all written constitutions. It would declare that an act, which, according to the principles and theory of our government, is entirely void; is yet, in practice, completely obligatory. It would declare, that if the legislature shall do what is expressly forbidden, such act, notwithstanding the express prohibition, is in reality effectual. It would be giving to the legislature a practical and real omnipotence, with the same breath which professes to restrict their powers within narrow limits. It is prescribing limits, and declaring that those limits may be passed at pleasure."
The decision concludes, "Why does a judge swear to discharge his duties agreeably to the constitution of the United States, if that constitution forms no rule for his government? if it is closed upon him, and cannot be inspected by him.
"If such be the real state of things, this is worse than solemn mockery. To prescribe, or to take this oath, becomes equally a crime.
"Thus, the particular phraseology of the constitution of the United States confirms and strengthens the principle, supposed to be essential to all written constitutions, that a law repugnant to the constitution is void; and that courts, as well as other departments, are bound by that instrument."
How could this decision be any more clear? The US Congress has no authority to pass laws, and the President has no authority to execute laws which contradict the US Constitution, and any such laws that are passed should be considered null and void.
In addition to the Court, the founders also expected that the states would serve as a check and balance on potential encroachments upon the people's liberties by the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.
At this point, allow me to quote my constitutional attorney son, Timothy Baldwin:
"One of the constitutional tools by which socialist and nationalist ideologues have incorporated political principles of centralization and state annihilation is through the 'Supremacy clause' of the U.S. Constitution, which states, 'This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.' (USC, Article 6) To many people, this phrase has been construed to mean whatever laws and treaties those in the federal government pass, execute and uphold are binding on the people of the states and their respective governments. Admittedly, this concept has taken a stronghold in America and has been treated as the accepted principle of constitutional law for generations. Undoubtedly, every law student attending an ABA accredited law school is taught this as fact, just as I was when I attended Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. Not everyone agrees with this construction, however.
"Big-government and monarchist himself, Alexander Hamilton sheds light on the error of this position in 1787 when he addressed the concerns of those Americans who rejected the U.S. Constitution because of the fear that the expected effect of the 'Supremacy clause' would be to subvert the sovereignty of the States to govern themselves according to their constitutions. Hamilton attempts to calm their fears, saying, 'It will not follow from this doctrine [of supremacy] that acts of the large society [i.e., the union] which are NOT PURSUANT to its constitutional powers, but which are invasions of the residuary authorities of the smaller societies, will become the supreme law of the land.' (Federalist Paper 33) Perhaps everyone in America would concede this, but what is not agreed upon is what the States can and should do about those laws that are NOT PURSUANT to the constitutional powers of the federal government. Many place the burden of correcting that grievance on the U.S. Supreme Court, as if a body of nine judges appointed by the executive of the federal government are an adequate remedy for the machinations of that distorted philosophy broadly accepted by those in federal office. Contrarily, those who believe in the principles of a federalist system should recognize that each unit of the union (i.e., States) have the duty to do what Hamilton suggested in response to those laws contrary to the constitution: 'These [laws] will be merely acts of usurpation, and WILL DESERVE TO BE TREATED AS SUCH.' (FP 33, emphasis added) These laws should be treated as no law at all, and moreover, as attacks on liberty, and should be resisted on every level of the union, from federal to state to local governments, as well as individuals."
See Tim's website.
Sheriffs Mueller, Peyman, Cole, et al. are dutifully fulfilling their oaths of office and are exemplary examples of what it means to be a constitutional sheriff.
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I strongly urge readers to take a copy of Sheriff Mueller's letter to the White House to your own county sheriff and ask him where he stands on protecting your Second Amendment liberties. And if your sheriff balks at his duty of standing firm for your liberties, vote him out of office as quickly as possible and replace him with a true constitutionalist sheriff. Remember, without the approbation and cooperation of your county sheriff, no federal police agency has any ability to implement Senator Dianne Feinstein's semi-automatic rifle ban or high capacity magazine ban, should Congress pass such a ban.
Sheriffs are not elected to be paper pushers or attend Rotary Club meetings or a hundred other mundane tasks; primarily, sheriffs are elected to protect the liberties of the citizens in his or her county--even if that means defying unconstitutional laws handed down from Washington, D.C.
Kudos to the sheriffs of the State of Utah; kudos to Sheriff Mueller, Peyman, Cole et al. Come on folks! Find out NOW whether you have a real sheriff in your county or just a political opportunist who wears a badge. Your liberties hang in the balance.
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