According to Texas legend, Judge Phantly Roy Bean Jr. who dubbed himself the “Law West of the Pecos,” was known as judge, jury, and executioner. He was referred to as the “hanging judge” as the Justice of the Peace in Val Verde County, Texas. Truth be told, he only sentenced two men to hang. But, Judge Bean does give us an interesting backdrop as to where we are in America today. Elected officials, the executive branch, cannot take upon themselves more powers than are enumerated to them. Here in America, executive branch or elected officials are representatives in a Republic. We have a rule of law, and a separation of powers for the respective branches of our government…as well as checks and balances.
But, what happens when one branch decides to overstep their lane and assume powers for which they are not granted? This is why we do not have officials elected to the executive branch who can just invoke mandates, edicts, decrees, and orders. As US Attorney General Barr has stated, a state of emergency does not suspend the Bill of Rights, those first ten amendments to our Constitution which enabled its ratification.
In America, we find ourselves in a very interesting situation: an emergency was declared over a virus with a 99.6 percent recovery rate. Upon being deemed a pandemic, the emergency was declared, all so ensued the usurpation of rights, freedoms, and liberties of the American people. The citizens of this Constitutional Republic were asked to make a sacrifice for two weeks in order to “flatten the curve.” I love it how these trendy soundbites are developed. The American people gave the “consent of the governed.” But, two weeks has turned into 47 days, and the real emergency has now become the decimation of our economy, and the forced unemployment of, now, over 30 million Americans, 2 million here in Texas.
Still, up until this moment, we have elected officials deciding to extend this illegal martial law, house arrest, and forced closure of businesses upon the American people. They do so by leveraging fear, panic, paranoia, and hysteria, combined with the threats, coercion, and intimidation tactics of employing law enforcement.
Just recall the recent words of Chicago Mayor Lightfoot who threatened, “do not make us treat you like criminals.” In Oregon, the governor there has extended what they call “lockdown” — illegal martial law — until July 6th. Funny how that’s after our Independence Day. In other words, she has made the decision that Americans in Oregon will not be “allowed” to celebrate our nation’s independence…so much for that “consent of the governed” thing.
But perhaps, if we are to see a hastening to an end of this charade of unconstitutional action, it will come from one very vital group: law enforcement.
As reported by Townhall:
“Governors across the nation have issued stay-at-home orders. Many have extended them once or twice. Some have even gone so far as to threaten to slap residents with fines. But what these governors are counting on is local police departments and sheriffs to enforce their orders. Sheriffs from around the country are standing up and refusing to enforce the orders because they believe them to be unconstitutional.
Two Arizona Sheriffs – Doug Schuster of Mohave County and Mark Lamb of Pinal County – said they will not enforce Gov. Doug Ducey’s (R) stay-at-home order. Both Schuster and Lamb agreed to talk with residents about violating the governor’s order but they would not arrest those who refuse to comply, Arizona Central reported.
Even though Mohave County is home to Lake Havasu City, one of the state’s most popular tourist attractions, the sheriff believes people will be respectful of Ducey’s orders. “We’ll get compliance,” Schuster said. “These businesses are not looking to butt heads with law enforcement or the state.” “I think people want to know that we’re going to support their constitutional rights,” Lamb said. “I felt (Ducey) pushed me into a position where I needed to make our stance clear.”
According to the Pinal County sheriff, the state’s low number of Wuhan coronavirus deaths – 330 – no longer justified a stay-at-home order and keeping people from their livelihoods. He even went so far as to say he would join a lawsuit challenging Ducey’s order. “Three hundred deaths is not a significant enough number to continue to ruin the economy,” Lamb said. Schuster said if he received a complaint about a business, such as a restaurant being open, he would show up and encourage them to practice social distancing and other health care guidelines.
“My conscience will not allow me to arrest someone who is trying to make a living,” he said. “I don’t believe it is a crime to try and make a living.”
Two sheriffs in Washington State – Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney and Franklin County Sheriff J.D. Raymond – had similar sentiments. Fortney took to Facebook to explain why he thought Gov. Jay Inslee’s (D) orders were wrong.
“I am worried about the economy and I am worried about Washingtonian’s that need to make a living for their family. As more data floods in week by week and day by day about this pandemic I think it is clear that the ‘models’ have not been entirely accurate,” he wrote in a post. “While that is okay, we cannot continue down the same path we have been on if the government reaction does not fit the data or even worse, the same government reaction makes our situation worse.”
“As your elected Sheriff I will always put your constitutional rights above politics or popular opinion. We have the right to peaceably assemble,” Fortney said. “We have the right to keep and bear arms. We have the right to attend church service of any denomination. The impacts of COVID 19 no longer warrant the suspension of our constitutional rights.” Sheriff Raymond said he refuses to enforce Inslee’s orders or “guidelines that infringe on your constitutional rights,” KOMO-TV reported. Raymond made the case that residents can be adults and care for themselves. “I believe that social distancing and taking appropriate and proper steps to slow the spread of the virus and control its transmission is important,” he wrote in a letter to his constituents.”
I believe it will begin when we have more leaders in law enforcement who recognize that they do not exist to enable tyranny. After all, these are their neighbors and constituents. Of course, understand this: if you are one who fully buys into the fear-mongering, by all means, stay at home. However, your fear should not ever dictate the limits of the freedom and liberty of others. We have a situation all across America where there are those who believe that they are Judge Roy Bean, that they are the “law.” That is not how it works in a Constitutional Republic, there are constraints on the power of the elected, lest they become despotic. As Lord Acton asserted, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
We need our principled, stalwart leaders in law enforcement to remind these politicians that we are not serfs for them to lord over us. That the power in America resides with “We the People.” We do recognize that there are true emergencies, such as natural disasters, but no one has the enumerated right to suspend our rights and liberties indefinitely…and in this case, based upon a virus that has a 99.6 percent recovery rate.
The Thin Blue Line is being challenged and placed in a horrible position by elected officials who have overstepped their bounds. I hope and pray we have more like these sheriffs, and not like the law enforcement officers who showed up at the home of a mother in Wisconsin, threatening her for allowing her children to play with other children.
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LTC West is running for Chair of the Republican Party of Texas! To support his efforts, please visit his campaign website!
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During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District. In July of 2020, Mr. West was elected Chair of the Republican Party of Texas.
West is a commissioned officer in the Texas State Guard. He’s a Newsmax Contributor, former Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, and We Can Overcome: An American Black Conservative Manifesto.