by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
Every county in the U.S. elects a sheriff to oversee law enforcement within that county. As elected officials, County Sheriffs take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America, and protect the constitutional rights of their constituents, even if it means standing up to federal agents and others, like State Governors, who would seek to violate the rights of their constituents within their counties.
Most all other law enforcement departments and administrators in the U.S. are appointed, not elected. The County Sheriff is the exception.
One of the largest Constitutional Sheriffs association is the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association  (CSPOA). On their “Statements of Positions” page they define their duties to uphold the Constitution:
America needs to make a strong turn around to get back on the freedom track laid for us by our Founders. We believe it can’t be done from the top down, due to many factors, not the least of which is corruption and entrenched bureaucracies in high places. We must, and we can, accomplish this turn- around starting locally at the county level, and lower. The office of county sheriff is the last hope of making this happen, and we are witnessing great deeds of protection, service, and interposition across America by courageous sheriffs who only want to serve the people who elected them.
Some sheriffs across the U.S. are beginning to take a stand and oppose their State Governors’ unconstitutional “Stay at Home” orders which have put millions of people out of work, and destroyed many thousands of businesses.
Racine, Wisconsin County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling is one of those sheriffs, and he made waves this week when he took a public stand in favor of his constituents Constitutional Rights, and against Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ “Safer at Home” order. As ABC local affiliate WISN 12 reports :
On Friday, Schmaling released a statement that said he will not enforce the order because he believes it violates businesses’ and citizens’ constitutional rights.
“The overreaching measures taken by State government will have dire lifetime consequences for businesses, homeowners, and families. I took an oath to uphold the constitutional rights of our citizens and I can not in good faith participate in the destruction of Racine County businesses or interfere in the freedoms granted to all of us by our Constitution,” Schmaling’s statement said. (Full Story .)
Schmaling is not alone.
This past week four sheriffs in Michigan took similar stands against Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. As The Detroit News  reports:
The same day thousands rallied in Lansing to protest provisions of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-home order, four northern Michigan sheriffs said they would not strictly enforce the order and three Michigan residents filed another federal suit against the governor and county prosecutors tasked with enforcing her order.
The four sheriffs from Leelaunau, Benzie, Manistee and Mason counties called Whitmer’s orders “vague” and an “overstepping” of her executive authority. They said they were the “last line of defense in protecting your civil liberties.”
“We write today to inform the public of our respective counties of our opposition to some of Gov. Whitmer’s executive orders,” according to a statement sent by the sheriffs.
“While we understand her desire to protect the public, we question some restrictions that she has imposed as overstepping her executive authority. She has created a vague framework of emergency laws that only confuse Michigan citizens.” (Full Story .)
Former Sheriff Richard Mack, the Founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association , also published an email newsletter this week titled: A Tale of Two Sheriffs.
A Tale of Two Sheriffs
by Sheriff Richard Mack (Ret)
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
~ Charles Dickens
This was Dickens’ analysis of radical opposites between England and France during the French Revolution. Perhaps America is going through similar extreme contrasts today as a result of our own “Panic-demic” pursuant to the Coronavirus.
Indeed, as Paine penned “These are times that try men’s souls.” However, instead of a “Tale of Two Cities,” perhaps our present crisis is “A Tale of Two Sheriffs” and our analysis takes us to contemporary radical opposites.
On the one hand we have Sheriff Scott Nichols of Franklin County, Maine, who told his Governor that he would not follow her orders to make his county a “Police State.” Sheriff Nichols went on to say that he and his officers would not act like “Nazis” but would continue to respect the liberties of all citizens within their jurisdiction.
Conversely, Sheriff Chad Chronister of Hillsborough County, Florida, arrested Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne for conducting church services at a mega-church in Riverview, Florida. Sheriff Chronister claimed that the church gathering was an “unlawful assembly” according to the State’s non-essential services rules. Pastor Howard-Browne was booked into jail and then released on bail.
These two sheriffs could not be demonstrating two more extreme contrasts: One siding with American ideals and the U.S. Constitution and the other siding with rules and policies. One stood against Nazi Germany tactics, the other arrested a clergyman for having church.
The CSPOA asks this question to all Americans and the entire world; which sheriff, which lawman would you prefer to have working for you? The First Amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging… the right of the people to peaceably assemble…”
Does Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne have the God-given right to conduct his church according to his conscience and to peaceably assemble? If he does, no crisis can nullify or set aside such rights. If government can suspend our liberty and rights whenever they determine the necessity to do so then is there any law or right that public servants cannot destroy at will? Which is supreme, a rule describing “essential services” or the First Amendment?
Again I ask, which Sheriff do you want in your county?
“One of the most disturbing facts in history is that, in the lifespan of every civilization, there comes a time of crisis when the primal instinct of collective survival overrides all other values.”
~ G. Edward Griffin
At this time we must be vigilant and remember that our Founding Fathers created the best contract between a people and their servant government. This contract has made us the greatest country in history.
The further we drift from our Constitution, the closer we come to reestablishing the Tyranny from which we revolted. The continuous and gradual theft of our liberties by opportunistic politicians and an overreacting media is destroying our federation. We agree with voluntary compliance for health and safety, but the solutions now being presented are only causing more problems for Americans today, and will cause even more for our children tomorrow.
The evidence and solutions proffered to arrest and eliminate the Coronavirus come from many different and often conflicting supposed “experts” and leave a confusing melting pot of advice that fails to present a direct path of hope for Americans to cling to. Whatever the facts and numbers are, the “cures” presented are, in many cases, worse than the disease. So, we must focus on the certainty of the Principles of Liberty, including, but not limited to, individual liberty, limited government, enumerated powers, Federalism and state & individual sovereignty.
We can address the majority of these concerns by immediately taking three essential actions:
– Unitedly “appeal to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions.”
– Restore our God-given liberties and civil rights.
– Stop the lock-down and restore the economy.
Regardless of the severity of this current crisis, we demand that the process of governing be carried out in full acknowledgement of the unalienable rights granted by our Creator, holding them sacred as part of the Oath of Office.
Therefore, in order to protect the American people, BE IT RESOLVED that the following abuses will not be allowed or tolerated:
A) Registration of personal firearms under any circumstances.
B) Confiscation of firearms without probable cause, due process, and Constitutionally compliant warrants issued by a local or State jurisdiction.
C) Inspections of Persons or Property without probable cause and constitutionally compliant warrants as required by the 4th Amendment.
D) The detainment or search of Citizens without probable cause and proper due process compliance, or the informed consent of the Citizen.
E) Arrests with continued incarcerations without charges and complete due process, including, but not limited to, public and speedy jury trials.
F) Domestic utilization of our nation’s military or federal agencies operating under power granted under the laws of war against American Citizens.
G) Government infringement on citizens’ basic rights. Those include the right to travel to any public area they wish, and the right to reject medication for any reason.
H) The infringement on parental rights, including the removal of children from their care without probable cause and due process as spelled out in the Bill of Rights. Parents have the exclusive right to choose or deny medical care, education and religious instruction as they deem essential for their children’s welfare.
AND, BE IT FURTHER REAFFIRMED THAT,
“…The Constitution protects us from our own best intentions. It divides power among sovereigns and among branches of government so that we may resist the temptation to concentrate power in one location as an expedient solution to the crisis of the day.”
(Mack/Printz v US)
The enforcement of any “law” or policy contrary to the Constitution is criminal and morally reprehensible. We applaud the many sheriffs, peace officers and public servants who have refused to arrest or cite the people who have chosen to go about their lives.
We also applaud President Trump for his measured approach in the guidelines he has proposed. Jefferson warned us that in such times, government can reason and persuade, but never use force against the people. President Trump has displayed true leadership in adhering to this principle. The most dangerous thing happening in our nation is not the coronavirus, but the destruction of Liberty, the United States Constitution, and the American Dream.
Therefore, in keeping with our aforementioned goals, we most humbly and fervently implore President Trump to remind us all daily that we are indeed One Nation Under God, by beginning each press conference with a word of prayer.
Also, a plea from each of us that not only will he, the President, keep his oath to uphold and defend the United States Constitution, but that he will expect all local, State and Federal public servants to do the same.
And finally, that we will keep the April 30th deadline and reopen America, end the lockdown and put all Americans back to work. We stand together as friends and neighbors to endure this crisis while simultaneously keeping Liberty and America intact for all future generations.
To this end we mutually pledge to ourselves and our posterity, our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
Outbreak? We’ve been there before
Here’s a link to a video from 2010 where Richard Mack discussed the importance of maintaining our liberties during the H1N1 swine flu crisis.
Crisis is When We Most Need the Constitution
Sam Bushman, Radio Talk Show Host and CSPOA Board Member
The following is a transcription of portions of a recent radio broadcast on Sam’s radio show, Liberty RoundTable.
I’m going to point out what I would do if I were President. I would spend my, (probably not two hours of the seventeen minutes or an hour every single day)… I would probably spend my time with a whole lot shorter venues, but I would focus on how we’re obeying the Constitution – how we’re using the checks and balances to really promote the greatest country on the face of the earth.
We are setting this up as a beacon, as a light on a hill to teach the nations of the world how to appropriately share authority, respect power, and literally obey the checks and balances. That’s what I believe.
Look, whenever there is a crisis, whenever there is a crisis of the day as Richard Mack wisely coined, actually that was in a court case. Whenever there is a crisis of the day, they seem to say, well, the Constitution is wonderful Sam but, we are going to set it aside right now because it’s crisis time. When we get back to normal see, then we will go ahead and be super constitutionalists of course.
I have a problem with that! I think the biggest time we need the checks and balances, the biggest time we need the Constitution, and the vertical and horizontal checks on power…the biggest time we need to obey the Constitution is when there is a crisis.
Because of the coronavirus, we need to double down and go to the Constitution more than ever – not circumvent it or pretend it doesn’t exist or halt it or set it aside temporarily because of the ends justifies the means, or we have to act now.
The Constitution is the political supreme document designed to help us work through this in a way that does not fundamentally change America – that does not put government in control of us – that does not allow government to cross lines of authority.
The constitution is the answer. It’s more the answer in the middle of any crisis. The bigger the crisis the more the supreme law should be the answer and the more the checks and balances should be followed.
If I were President, that’s where I would go. I would educate people on the checks and balances. I would educate people on my authority and what I can do. I would be putting a lot in congress’ court to work on and do.
I would be doubling down and telling you how I am keeping my oath of office and what I intend to do to use this supreme law and turn to the Constitution and to God, to work through this crisis in the way the founding fathers intended and I will not violate your rights in the process.
I will do my very best to use the blueprint given to us, specifically designed for when a crisis occurs.
Does that seem like a reasonable way to move forward? Good heavens, I have got an oath and I intend to keep it, and I demand everyone else keeps their oaths as well.
We are going to respect the new process of law. We are going to give you the best guidance we can give you – the best intel on the ground we can give you. We are going to leave it up to the states and the people respectively, based on the tenth amendment.
We are just going to use this blueprint, baby, like you’ve never seen before. Get on board or get the heck out of the way, people. Come on!
Contact Your County Sheriff
If you believe your elected County Sheriff should be protecting your Constitutional rights, even if it means defying your State’s Governor, then let your County Sheriff know this, and let him or her know that they do not stand alone!
If you organize protests in your community or at your State Capital, invite your Sheriff to be part of that protest.