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Sheriff Richard Mack (Ret)

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Does a Sheriff Really Have The Right To Choose Which Laws To Enforce?


By Sheriff Richard Mack (Ret)


Februrary 19th 2019

I have received several media inquiries regarding the sheriffs in Washington and New Mexico who are valiantly standing against their states' attempts to promote Gun Control. Invariably, these well-intended reporters ask how it is that our nation's sheriffs can choose which laws to enforce. The answer is an easy one: because that is precisely what they promised to do. But in the case of Washington, the people voted by referendum to support more gun control by 58%. So the sheriffs there have the duty to go along with "the will of the people." Right?

WRONG! Perhaps in a Democracy this would be true, but America IS NOT a Democracy. Despite all the brainwashing of the last 150 years claiming that the USA is a Democracy, the truth of the matter is that we are absolutely, unequivocally, a Constitutional Republic. The difference being that in a Democracy the majority rules. In our Constitutional Republic, the Constitution rules, and is unquestionably and unambiguously, the Supreme Law of the Land.


Therefore, the law in Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution that requires that "all legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers... shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution," says exactly what the sheriff is required to do. Incidentally, the sheriff takes the same oath to the Constitution as Justices of the Supreme Court and the President.


So, all three branches of government, at all levels - cities, counties, states and federal - have differing assignments but the same purpose: to secure and protect the rights of the people. This is the proper pole of government and is the paramount duty of the sheriff, city council, county commission, state legislature, congress, POTUS, and every judge in this country. Our sworn duty is to support the Constitution and thus, defend the unalienable rights of the people we work for.


Martin Luther King said, "I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."


"All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void." Marbury vs. Madison


Dr. King was absolutely correct and so was SCOTUS in this landmark case of 1803. No sheriff has any obligation to enforce any law contrary to the Constitution. Our ultimate goal in America is L I B E R T Y. When laws become the "tool of the tyrant" or when laws become the evil they were intended to punish, then it becomes the duty of all sheriffs and peace officers in every state to oppose them, not enforce them. Could there ever be any worse tyranny than the blind enforcement of unconstitutional laws?


To secure liberty, we must stand against all officers of government when they are wrong and contrary to Constitution. We must even do this when the people themselves go against the rights that are guaranteed in the Constitution. (Again, this exemplifies the difference between a democracy and a constitutional republic.)


We should also be looking at history for these some of these answers. Not a single Black Code should have ever been enforced. No Jim Crow laws should have ever been enforced and certainly, the idiotic ruling in Plessy v Ferguson that established the "Separate but Equal" doctrine should have never seen the light of day, yet this ruling perpetuated segregation for another 55 years! The Supreme Court was wrong and every state and every sheriff should have opposed such nonsense. And no, Rosa Parks should have never been arrested for failing to give her seat to a white man. But she was. The history lesson here is that we never enforce such laws today that clearly violate the rights of the people.


The CSPOA absolutely applauds and stands with the sheriffs in Washington and New Mexico and the county commissioners of Quay County, NM who made their county a "Second Amendment Sanctuary." These are true American heroes and they are clearly on solid legal and historical ground.


"It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder." Frederick Bastiat


Let us carry the torch of liberty today in every aspect of government, that every citizen and public official may understand that programs and statutes could never become superior to the principles our country was based on. What is the solution to all societal ills, taxation, immigration, poverty, politics, crime, corruption, climate change, national debt, etc.?


Liberty is still the answer.