Long Live The Constitutionalist Sheriff!
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by Chuck Baldwin
August 10, 2010
One of the tragedies of the current misled, uninformed, and otherwise preoccupied American citizenry is the seeming apathy regarding the importance and necessity of electing constitutionalist sheriffs. In many ways, State governors and county sheriffs just might be the most important elected offices in America. It is no hyperbole to say that State governors and county sheriffs form the last line of defense against tyranny and oppression. If our governors and sheriffs do not understand the principles of freedom and federalism, there is virtually zero protection against the abuses of liberty–save the right of the people to personally and individually defend liberty via the principles of God-given Natural Law.
Hence, a freedom-minded sheriff is invaluable to liberty’s defense. And perhaps at no time in America’s history has it been more necessary that we elect freedom-loving sheriffs than it is today, what with the ever-growing propensity of the federal government to trample and usurp State and constitutional protections of freedom.
For example, in an almost totally non-reported incident, an armed conflict between federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) agents and a Nevada Sheriff’s SWAT team was averted only by virtue of the fact that, at the last minute, BLM backed down from the impending confrontation.
For the record: federal police agencies have a long history of committing illegal searches and seizures (even assault and murder–can anyone say, “Ruby Ridge” or “Waco”?) against the US citizenry. But BLM might be the most notorious federal police agency of all. The tactics BLM employs against western landowners sometimes border on Nazi-like. When the late, great Helen Chenoweth was an Idaho congresswoman, she tried to raise awareness of (and opposition to) this out-of-control federal agency. I urge readers to read Rep. Chenoweth’s interview with Michael Reagan about this subject. See it at:
According to Rep. Chenoweth, “BLM is taking onto themselves law enforcement that is normally saved for the State, law enforcement over motor vehicles. They’ve written into the regulation without authority from Congress, the ability to stop vehicles or to search people, to search a place or a vehicle without warrant or process; to be able to seize without warrant or process any piece of evidence and to test people for potential DUI (driving under the influence).”
Chenoweth continued: “Our founders, when establishing our system of government wanted to make sure that law enforcement was closest to the people. You and I have talked before about how important it is to make sure that you elect the very best local county sheriff because he should be regarded as the highest law enforcement officer in the area because he is accountable to the voters. They really worried about a national, a federal, law enforcement. To federalize our law enforcement is to create a situation that the pilgrims were trying to escape.
“We are moving quickly to that. The Bureau of Land Management is taking onto themselves law enforcement authority that Congress never gave them. In the Federal Land Policy and Management Act that was passed in the early 1970s it made it clear that Congress said that, first, you must go to your local county sheriff for law enforcement activities.”
Chenoweth added, “In the BLM proposed rules and regulations, you can’t remove any plants or soil or pick up any rocks or minerals. You can’t drive on any vegetation or soil. You can’t disturb soil at all. Now you can’t set a foot on soil without disturbing it. You can’t set a foot on a ground plant without disturbing it.”
For the sheriff in Nye County, Nevada, BLM abridgments of liberty had gone too far. When BLM threatened to arrest the sheriff if he refused to go along with BLM’s illegal searches and seizures against Nye County citizens, Sheriff Tony DeMeo countered by telling BLM in no uncertain terms that should any agent attempt to enforce BLM’s unconstitutional policies, he would have his deputies arrest them. DeMeo even had his SWAT teams standing by to enforce the law AGAINST THE OUT-OF-CONTROL FEDERAL AGENCY. To put it in Sheriff DeMeo’s words, “We’d be standing between them [BLM] and my constituents [county residents].” At the last minute, BLM backed off and the confrontation between the Nye County sheriff’s office and the federal agency was averted.
See Sheriff DeMeo’s testimony on the incident at:
Now, Sheriff Tony DeMeo is exactly the kind of sheriff the Constitution requires! Unfortunately, it seems that the vast majority of sheriffs across the country have no idea as to what their constitutional authority entails, and seem to have no discernment and understanding of just what the federal government is doing to usurp State and local jurisdiction. Or if they do, they seem to lack the courage to act upon their power and authority. Or maybe they simply lust after federal monies (better known as bribes).
Of course, there are a few sheriffs across America who seem to be aware of what’s going on and have the guts to do something about it. A precious few. Along with Sheriff Tony DeMeo, there is Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Shane Harrington of Wibaux County, Montana, Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Arizona, and, of course, there are former Sheriffs Ray Nash of Dorchester County, South Carolina, Richard Mack of Graham County, Arizona, and Jay Printz of Ravalli County, Montana. Plus, if the good people of Larimer County, Colorado, will elect Carl Bruning as their sheriff, there will be another principled constitutionalist sheriff to add to the list of patriot sheriffs. To visit Carl’s campaign web site, go here:
Readers should know, too, that Sheriff Mack has a plethora of outstanding books and videos relating to the role and duty of a constitutional sheriff on his web site. I highly recommend that you avail yourself to as much of Mack’s materials as you can. Here is his web site:
If liberty has any chance of surviving in the United States, it will be because the American people wake up to the importance and necessity of electing constitutionalist governors and sheriffs. Sheriffs, especially, are critical to the maintenance of liberty. It is a truism that, next to the people themselves, the sheriff’s office helps form the last line of defense against federal abuse of power. Long live the constitutionalist Sheriff!
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(c) Chuck Baldwin