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The People of Coos County, Oregon, are standing up against unconstitutional federal laws! However, according to an interview in World Net Daily, The Heritage Foundation says they are wrong to do so. So let’s see what the founders of the Constitution say…
Coos County, Oregon, has passed an ordinance that says that the Sheriff is not to enforce any unconstitutional laws in their county. But the Heritage Foundation says:
… the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution leaves “no question that federal law trumps state law”…(Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation)
No, Mr. von Spakovsky, you are wrong. The Supremacy Clause says the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, and federal laws are ONLY supreme if they are made in compliance with the Constitution. The Supremacy Clause (Article VI sec 2) is a very simple statement, and it doesn’t need complicated legal analysis. It says what it means and means what it says.
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; …shall be the supreme law of the land.”
That means that if federal law is contrary to the Constitution, it is NOT the Supreme Law of the Land. Not only that, Alexander Hamilton tells us that any law that is contrary to the Constitution is NO LAW at all.
“No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.” Federalist #78
The Heritage Foundation then claims that the sheriff is an “agent of the state” and has to abide by Oregon law; if the state passed a law that requires its officials, including the sheriff, to violate the Second Amendment, individual citizens could pursue a lawsuit, or he could resign from his job. (Andrew Kloster, Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation)
No, Mr. Kloster, you are wrong about a couple very important things. First the Sheriff is NOT an agent of the State. He is an elected representative of The People. The State does not hire a Sheriff; the People elect him, and they expect him to keep his oath to the people. Inherent in that oath is the requirement of the Sheriff to protect the people from all who would take their property in violation of their rights. We expect that our Sheriff, as much as he is able, will help to protect our homes, our property, our lives, and our families from the acts of those who would violate our rights. But what happens when it’s the government itself that takes up the role of one who would take our rights, the role of the criminal?
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James Madison wrote in 1792, “In a word, as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.” If you would want your Sheriff to protect your home from criminal invasion, Madison is simply reminding us that we should also want our Sheriff to protect us from having our Rights criminally invaded. Is the Sheriff bound to uphold the law even when that law violates his oath to the Constitution and seeks to deprive the citizens of their Liberty? Of course not! The duty and the obligations of the Sheriff do not change, even when the violator of our Liberty is the government itself. To fail to protect our Liberty from all unlawful activity is a dereliction of duty. Remember, our Right to keep and bear arms is NOT a 2nd Amendment Right; it is a Natural Right. It is not there for hunting, sport, or just for robbers and rapists. It is there to oppose ALL forms of government that would deny us of our Rights.
“To vindicate these rights when actually violated or attack’d, the subjects of England are entitled first to the regular administration and free course of justice in the courts of law—next to the right of petitioning the King and parliament for redress of grievances-and lastly, to the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence.” Justice Blackstone, as quoted by Samuel Adams, 1769
I suppose the Heritage Foundation would like our Sheriffs to assume the posture that they must simply enforce the laws as they are written, good, bad, and ugly. That is a very interesting position to take, as that is the same defense most Nazis tried to use at Nuremburg. It didn’t work for them, so why would the Heritage Foundation expect our Sheriffs to take up that defense? Can you just imagine what America would be like today if some Sheriffs had followed their oath instead of the law? Rosa Parks would’ve been able to sit anywhere she wanted on the bus. Civil Rights advocates would not have been jailed and beaten. Japanese Americans would not have been forced into internment camps. Dred Scott would not have been deemed property, but a man with inalienable Rights. All of these acts were supported by “laws,” State and Federal, and upheld by the Supreme Court.
The one thing these Heritage Fellows have correct is that this Sheriff and the People of Coos County may be looking at some legal challenges. But that should not dissuade the people in defending their Rights. After all, our framers believed defense of Liberty was worthy of Life, Fortune, and Sacred Honor. It is unfortunate that some Americans have become so fundamentally miseducated about the Constitution that they would actually want our elected representative to uphold laws that take our Rights.
What is more deeply troubling than the wrong education of the people is the lack of understanding of many in the legal system. People must remember, however, that law schools don’t teach the Constitution anymore; they teach Constitutional Law. These classes teach our future lawyers and judges that they know more about the Constitution than the men who wrote it. After all, we are technologically advanced, so we must be intellectually superior. Therefore, our highly educated judges and lawyers need to use their advanced intellect to tell the framers what they meant when they wrote the Constitution because they were too stupid to know for themselves. Law schools will then spend the rest of their legal instruction teaching future lawyers and judges how to circumvent the Constitution to win their arguments. Law schools have bred generations of lawyers and judges who are completely diseased with the concepts of Federal Supremacy.
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I am very concerned by the opinions of these men who claim to represent the Heritage Foundation, opinions that clearly contradict the words and intentions of our framers. We should not be shy questioning these men; after all, they are products of their education. If these two men truly represent the opinions of The Heritage Foundation, it appears that Heritage, too, may have been overcome by Federal Supremacy and may need a course correction.
Meanwhile, we must educate ourselves on the Truth regarding the application of the Constitution and the proper role and duty of our Constitutional Sheriffs. May I encourage you to support Coos County, Oregon, and their Sheriff as they act in defense of our inherent Right to keep and bear arms? You can contact Sheriff Craig Zanni at [email protected] or 541-396-7800. Let them know you support them in the defense of our inherent Rights. If you would like to become better educated on this issue, may I suggest chapter 5 of my book Sovereign Duty, titled “A New Sheriff In Town”? Perhaps we could encourage von Spakovsky and Kloster to read it as well?
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.