To the Editor:
I would like to thank Mr. Sam Huntington from Dresden for his letter questioning a statement I made in my March 30 letter to Denton Publications. “As chief law enforcement officers (C.L.E.O), I believe sheriffs have the constitutional authority to stop all enforcement of the Safe Act and like regulations within their respective counties where constitutional issues are in question.” When they take their oath of office, it is not just a formality, it is a constitutional requirement. ART VI, sec. 3, “All elected representatives and all officers and administrators of both the US and the individual states shall take an oath or affirmation that the shall support this constitution.” Sheriffs, as constitutional officers, must protect our constitutional rights.
From the National Center for Constitutional Studies, Washington, D.C., “The Citizens Rule Book,” and the “Making of America,” I quote: “The general misconception is that any statute passed by legislatures bearing the appearance of the law constitutes the law of the land. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and any statute, to be valid, must be in agreement. It is impossible for a law which violates the constitution to be valid. This is succinctly stated as follows:
- “All laws which are repugnant to the constitution are null and void.” (Marbury US Madison, 5 US [2 Cranch], 137,174,176 )
- “Where rights secured by the constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.” (Miranda vs. Arizona, 384 US 436, p. 491)
- “An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protections; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.” (Norton vs. Shelby Co. 118 US 425, p. 442)
- “The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it” (Citizens Rule Book). “No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it” (Vol. 16 American Jurisprudence, 2nd ed., p. 177, late 2nd ed., p. 256).
- William Pitt, a British Statesman said, “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of liberty; it is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” Those in power today plead “Necessity” when they say: “Don’t let a good crisis go to waste” (e.g., the horrible Sandy Hook incident is their “Necessity”).
- Archibald Maclaine, a ratifier of the US Constitution from North Carolina, in showing original intent, said, “No officer will be bound by his oath to support any act that would violate the principles of the Constitution.”
The constitution was written simply and clearly so that even those with limited education could understand it. It seems clear to me that the constitution requires an affirmation of support by not only sheriffs but all law enforcement officers and state and local officials including prosecuting attorneys. A law that obviously infringes (interferes, violates, encroaches, exceeds, intrudes, cancels, restricts, conflicts, dilutes, etc.) on one’s rights should be vigorously opposed.
More food for thought: A Colorado undersheriff recently asked a class of Colorado state troopers if they would have any objections to going into homes and confiscating firearms. Why would this question even be asked if it wasn’t their intent to do so?
May God bless and keep us all safe.
John Capek, Crown Point