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The Duly Elected Sheriff Of A County Is The Highest Law Enforcement Official Within A County


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#1 Burnedout

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 10:01 AM

http://sonoranallian...eriffs-prevail/

A m e r i c a n P o s t – G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The duly elected sheriff of a county is the highest law enforcement official within a county. He has law enforcement powers that exceed that of any other state or federal official.

This is settled law that most people are not aware of.

County sheriffs in Wyoming have scored a big one for the 10th Amendment and states’ rights. The sheriffs slapped a federal intrusion upside the head and are insisting that all federal law enforcement officers and personnel from federal regulatory agencies must clear all their activity in a Wyoming County with the Sheriff’s Office. Deja vu for those who remember big Richard Mack in Arizona.

Bighorn County Sheriff Dave Mattis spoke at a press conference following a recent U.S. District Court decision (Case No. 2:96-cv-099-J (2006)) and announced that all federal officials are forbidden to enter his county without his prior approval ……

“If a sheriff doesn’t want the Feds in his county he has the constitutional right and power to keep them out, or ask them to leave, or retain them in custody.”

The court decision was the result of a suit against both the BATF and the IRS by Mattis and other members of the Wyoming Sheriff’s Association. The suit in the Wyoming federal court district sought restoration of the protections enshrined in the United States Constitution and the Wyoming Constitution.

Guess what? The District Court ruled in favor of the sheriffs. In fact, they stated, Wyoming is a sovereign state and the duly elected sheriff of a county is the highest law enforcement official within a county and has law enforcement powers exceeding that of any other state or federal official.” Go back and re-read this quote.

The court confirms and asserts that “the duly elected sheriff of a county is the highest law enforcement official within a county and has law enforcement powers EXCEEDING that of any other state OR federal official.” And you thought the 10th Amendment was dead and buried – not in Wyoming, not yet.

But it gets even better. Since the judge stated that the sheriff “has law enforcement powers EXCEEDING that of any other state OR federal official,” the Wyoming sheriffs are flexing their muscles. They are demanding access to all BATF files. Why? So as to verify that the agency is not violating provisions of Wyoming law that prohibits the registration of firearms or the keeping of a registry of firearm owners. This would be wrong.

The sheriffs are also demanding that federal agencies immediately cease the seizure of private property and the impoundment of private bank accounts without regard to due process in Wyoming state courts.

Gosh, it makes one wish that the sheriffs of the counties relative to Waco, Texas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma regarding their jurisdictions were drinking the same water these Wyoming sheriffs are.

Sheriff Mattis said, “I am reacting in response to the actions of federal employees who have attempted to deprive citizens of my county of their privacy, their liberty, and their property without regard to constitutional safeguards. I hope that more sheriffs all across America will join us in protecting their citizens from the illegal activities of the IRS, EPA, BATF, FBI, or any other federal agency that is operating outside the confines of constitutional law. Employees of the IRS and the EPA are no longer welcome in Bighorn County unless they intend to operate in conformance to constitutional law.” [Amen].

However, the sad reality is that sheriffs are elected, and that means they are required to be both law enforcement officials and politicians as well. Unfortunately, Wyoming sheriffs are the exception rather than the rule . . . but they shouldn’t be. Sheriffs have enormous power, if or when they choose to use it. I share the hope of Sheriff Mattis that “more sheriffs all across America will join us in protecting their citizens.”

If Wyoming Sheriffs can follow in the steps of former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack and recognize both their power and authority, they could become champions for the memory of Thomas Jefferson who died thinking that he had won those “states’ rights” debates with Alexander Hamilton.

This case is not just some amusing mountain melodrama. This is a BIG deal. This case is yet further evidence that the 10th Amendment is not yet totally dead, or in a complete decay in the United States. It is also significant in that it can, may, and hopefully will be interpreted to mean that “political subdivisions of a State are included within the meaning of the amendment, or that the powers exercised by a sheriff are an extension of those common law powers which the 10th Amendment explicitly reserves to the People, if they are not granted to the federal government or specifically prohibited to the States.”

Winston Churchill observed, “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fights with all the odds against you with only a precarious chance of survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is not hope of victory at all, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

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#2 Snakefoot

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 11:08 AM

He-he-he. :3:
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#3 Shyone

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 11:37 AM

I'm sure there are many exceptions, such as when the sheriff abuses his power, violates federal law, or seeks to establish an independent territory like a little kingdom where he collects the taxes and the people don't pay the feds.

His ass will be in prison really, really fast, and for a very very long time.
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#4 Snakefoot

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 11:42 AM

I'm sure there are many exceptions, such as when the sheriff abuses his power, violates federal law, or seeks to establish an independent territory like a little kingdom where he collects the taxes and the people don't pay the feds.

His ass will be in prison really, really fast, and for a very very long time.

The point is not that the sheriff has carte blanche to do anything he wants. The feds do not have authority to conduct law enforcement activities independently without the sheriff's overt or tacit approval. They are subject to his authority.
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#5 Legion

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 11:43 AM

Keep it coming! The more challenges to federal authority the better in my opinion.
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#6 Burnedout

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:09 PM

I would also add this...

If you happen to have an agent of the Federal Government, no matter who, who comes to your door and wants to question you and you don't like what they are saying, you can order them off your property and let them know they are trespassing unless they have a warrant. At that point, get your gun and call the sheriff and let the sheriff know there is a person who is trespassing on your property who is armed, which most Federal Agents, especially law enforcement are, and is menacing you and that he need to get out there and remove him from your property or you will use deadly force to remove him yourself under the castle doctrine (if you have it in your state).
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#7 Ouroboros

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:33 PM

Isn't this sheriff also an example of an governmental authority? What if he starts to misuse his powers on the public? Does it mean: Federal Cop = Bad, but Local Cop = Good?
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#8 Snakefoot

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:40 PM

Isn't this sheriff also an example of an governmental authority? What if he starts to misuse his powers on the public? Does it mean: Federal Cop = Bad, but Local Cop = Good?

Unlike feds, the sheriff is a locally elected official, not a federal appointee or hireling. The sheriff is therefore answerable and accountable to the electorate, so cannot get by with any shenanigans, at least not for long. If he becomes abusive, residents can call on state police to investigate and intervene, in which case an acting sheriff is temporarily seated until a special election is held or until the next election cycle, whichever makes most sense for the circumstances.
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#9 Shyone

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:42 PM


I'm sure there are many exceptions, such as when the sheriff abuses his power, violates federal law, or seeks to establish an independent territory like a little kingdom where he collects the taxes and the people don't pay the feds.

His ass will be in prison really, really fast, and for a very very long time.

The point is not that the sheriff has carte blanche to do anything he wants. The feds do not have authority to conduct law enforcement activities independently without the sheriff's overt or tacit approval. They are subject to his authority.

I thought that was courtesy, or cooperation; not subjection.

I also would seriously doubt that, given prior notice of a federal investigation regarding federal crimes, that the local sherrif could or should be capable of preventing the investigation; particularly if the investigation was of his own office, or he refused to allow an investigation into, oh, say, a terrorist training camp.
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#10 Burnedout

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:50 PM



I'm sure there are many exceptions, such as when the sheriff abuses his power, violates federal law, or seeks to establish an independent territory like a little kingdom where he collects the taxes and the people don't pay the feds.

His ass will be in prison really, really fast, and for a very very long time.

The point is not that the sheriff has carte blanche to do anything he wants. The feds do not have authority to conduct law enforcement activities independently without the sheriff's overt or tacit approval. They are subject to his authority.

I thought that was courtesy, or cooperation; not subjection.

I also would seriously doubt that, given prior notice of a federal investigation regarding federal crimes, that the local sherrif could or should be capable of preventing the investigation; particularly if the investigation was of his own office, or he refused to allow an investigation into, oh, say, a terrorist training camp.


Out west, I think in Wyoming, there are some sheriffs who literally require ALL Federal agents to register with the sheriffs office upon entering the county in any official capacity or they will be arrested. NO KIDDING.
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#11 Snakefoot

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:58 PM

In Mack/Printz v USA, the U S Supreme Court declared that the states or their political subdivisions, "are not subject to federal direction." Justice Scalia opined for the majority, "…the Constitution's conferral upon Congress of not all governmental powers, but only discreet, enumerated ones."

ETA: This involved a lawsuit brought by county sheriffs over the Brady bill.

Edited by Snakefoot, 18 February 2010 - 01:23 PM.

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#12 Vomit Comet

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 02:18 PM

The Upside: the sheriffs in Humboldt/Mendocino/Trinity Counties (northern California's "Marijuana Country") can tell the DEA to get the fuck out.

The Downside: minorities, immigrants, and homos can be fucked with and the Sheriff can tell investigating Feds to pound sand.
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#13 Vomit Comet

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 02:20 PM

Unlike feds, the sheriff is a locally elected official, not a federal appointee or hireling. The sheriff is therefore answerable and accountable to the electorate, so cannot get by with any shenanigans, at least not for long. If he becomes abusive, residents can call on state police to investigate and intervene, in which case an acting sheriff is temporarily seated until a special election is held or until the next election cycle, whichever makes most sense for the circumstances.


What if the Sheriff and his boys are abusive to a mostly powerless minority? Recall what Benjamin Franklin said about democracy.
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#14 Vigile

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 02:21 PM

Keep it coming! The more challenges to federal authority the better in my opinion.


I tend to agree. I'd be slightly surprised if this holds up under a SCOTUS challenge since the fed level doesn't like challenges to its authority, but if there's any advantage to a conservative SCOTUS this may be it.
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#15 Vigile

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 02:23 PM

I would also add this...

If you happen to have an agent of the Federal Government, no matter who, who comes to your door and wants to question you and you don't like what they are saying, you can order them off your property and let them know they are trespassing unless they have a warrant. At that point, get your gun and call the sheriff and let the sheriff know there is a person who is trespassing on your property who is armed, which most Federal Agents, especially law enforcement are, and is menacing you and that he need to get out there and remove him from your property or you will use deadly force to remove him yourself under the castle doctrine (if you have it in your state).


Sounds good in theory, but it's probably not practical advice. Rather sounds like a good way to get yourself shot up.
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#16 Snakefoot

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 02:25 PM


Unlike feds, the sheriff is a locally elected official, not a federal appointee or hireling. The sheriff is therefore answerable and accountable to the electorate, so cannot get by with any shenanigans, at least not for long. If he becomes abusive, residents can call on state police to investigate and intervene, in which case an acting sheriff is temporarily seated until a special election is held or until the next election cycle, whichever makes most sense for the circumstances.


What if the Sheriff and his boys are abusive to a mostly powerless minority? Recall what Benjamin Franklin said about democracy.

That's what civil courts, lawyers, lawsuits, and state police are for.
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#17 Snakefoot

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 02:27 PM


I would also add this...

If you happen to have an agent of the Federal Government, no matter who, who comes to your door and wants to question you and you don't like what they are saying, you can order them off your property and let them know they are trespassing unless they have a warrant. At that point, get your gun and call the sheriff and let the sheriff know there is a person who is trespassing on your property who is armed, which most Federal Agents, especially law enforcement are, and is menacing you and that he need to get out there and remove him from your property or you will use deadly force to remove him yourself under the castle doctrine (if you have it in your state).


Sounds good in theory, but it's probably not practical advice. Rather sounds like a good way to get yourself shot up.

They even had apropos soundbites before the advent of electronic media: "Give me liberty..."
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#18 Ouroboros

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 03:23 PM

Unlike feds, the sheriff is a locally elected official, not a federal appointee or hireling. The sheriff is therefore answerable and accountable to the electorate, so cannot get by with any shenanigans, at least not for long. If he becomes abusive, residents can call on state police to investigate and intervene, in which case an acting sheriff is temporarily seated until a special election is held or until the next election cycle, whichever makes most sense for the circumstances.

How can we trust state police? Are they elected or are they more like the feds? And what about if the state police is corrupt and infringe the rights? Would you call the feds then?
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#19 Ouroboros

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 03:25 PM

That's what civil courts, lawyers, lawsuits, and state police are for.

So what are the supreme court and feds for?
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And behold, one came who in the form of a demon holding a beer, and he spake with a tongue of red. And when he spake, he said bye bye, and all listened, and watched as he smote the babbling troll with his +5 banhammer of fedupishness. And there was much rejoicing.



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#20 Snakefoot

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 03:30 PM


Unlike feds, the sheriff is a locally elected official, not a federal appointee or hireling. The sheriff is therefore answerable and accountable to the electorate, so cannot get by with any shenanigans, at least not for long. If he becomes abusive, residents can call on state police to investigate and intervene, in which case an acting sheriff is temporarily seated until a special election is held or until the next election cycle, whichever makes most sense for the circumstances.

How can we trust state police? Are they elected or are they more like the feds? And what about if the state police is corrupt and infringe the rights? Would you call the feds then?

State police structure varies from state to state. In some cases, the head of state police agencies are appointed by elected officials, so there is a chain of accountability.

And lest we forget, the ubiquity of video cameras has made local law enforcement more accountable/visible than ever before, and the last thing a political appointee wants is to embarrass his benefactor. This is much less true of the multi-layered federal bureaucracy.

And for what it is worth, why would anyone consider federal government and its minions more trustworthy than local?
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