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Constitutional Matters - Law Enforcement Powers Last: 12/11/2014

The New American magazine article, “Sheriffs Oppose Encroachment of Federal Agents Into Their Jurisdictions”, stated: “There are dozens of candidates for sheriff nationwide who share [the] view on the supremacy of state government and the constitutional locus of police power. These lawmen read the Constitution and nowhere in it do they find authorization for the federalization of law enforcement. In fact, they argue, the Constitution’s federal system endows local police with greater authority than any federal agent when it comes to enforcing the laws in their counties.”

The article continued with, “… the sheriffs and sheriff candidates … firmly assert their preeminence in the field of law enforcement. Their principle premise is that as sheriffs are the highest elected law-enforcement agent in the land and they are directly answerable to the voters and chosen by them, then they stand on the top rung of the police ladder. Federal officials, they argue, are not on the ladder at all, as the Constitution does not endow the federal government with police power and therefore the Tenth Amendment reserves that right to the states and to the people.

In 1994, Sheriff Richard Mack stood up to the Federal government and filed a lawsuit to stop the “Brady bill” that was signed into law by President Clinton. Six other sheriffs from around the country joined the lawsuit. On June 27, 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that the Brady bill was in fact unconstitutional and that the Federal Government could not commandeer state or county officers for federal bidding [Mack/Printz v. USA]. Justice Scalia wrote for the majority, stating, “The Federal Government may not compel the states to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program.”

via Constitutional Sheriffs Now! | Tenth Amendment Center.

 

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