by Carl Bruning, CampaignforLiberty

“It is time for the sworn protectors of Liberty, the County Sheriffs, to walk tall and defend their citizens from all enemies of our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.”

Americans are facing the stark reality that their Constitutional rights are being shredded. Nearly every action taken by the Federal government today violates the Constitution that sheriffs and the military have taken an oath to defend. The Sheriff may truly be the last hope for saving our constitutional Republic and our liberties.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in “The value of Constitutions”, that “there is no honorable law enforcement authority in Anglo-American law so ancient as that of the county sheriff whose role as a peace officer goes back at least to the time of Alfred the Great.”

The Office of the Sheriff has existed for over one thousand years and is the oldest law enforcement position in the United States. The word Sheriff is derived from the “Shire-Reeve” (who was the most powerful English law authority figure). Throughout history, the sheriff was recognized as the chief law enforcement officer in his shire or county, and was responsible for maintaining law and order and being an officer of the peace.

The County Sheriff is elected by, for, and of the People, and is our last line of defense against an oppressive and over-reaching government and tyranny. The Sheriffs are powerful executors of the law, and the Supreme law of the land is the Constitution.

In 1775, Edmund Burke declared, “Bad laws are the worst form of tyranny.” By that definition, we have tyranny today. Thousands of new laws are being shoved down our throats, and most bear little resemblance to the Constitution. Indeed, the very essence of tyranny is defined by the blind enforcement of bad laws. A Sheriff has the power, the authority, and the responsibility to resist tyranny and unconstitutional laws and actions.

Our founders understood that Liberty was our most important asset to defend. Samuel Adams said,“The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution, are worth defending against all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”

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.”

In 2005, a bill (HB 284) was introduced in the Montana State Legislature which required the County Sheriff be notified before any federal agents are allowed to enter the state with the intention of carrying out law enforcement actions. The bill provided not only for pre-notification, but that the Sheriff must also give consent before federal agents may proceed. Every state legislature should draft a similar bill for their next session.

In his book titled, “The County Sheriff — America’s Last Hope”, Sheriff Richard Mack wrote: “If we are to get America back, if we are indeed to return to the constitutional Republic we were meant to be, then it will be up to us, the sheriffs of America… who have the guts and dedication to tell the feds that we will no longer tolerate their intervention, control, meddling, mandates, or criminal behavior.”

The Sheriff is the chief law enforcement authority in our county, and he is elected by the ultimate power source, We The People. It is time for us to elect County Sheriffs who will walk tall and defend their citizens from all enemies of our Constitution and our Bill of Rights. The future of our constitutional Republic may depend on it.

Carl Bruning is a candidate for Sheriff in Larimer County, Colorado. He was previously the Colorado/Wyoming State Coordinator for Ron Paul’s 2008 Presidential Campaign, and was the interim State Coordinator for Colorado’s Campaign for Liberty group.

Copyright © 2010 Campaign for Liberty

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