Ammo For Sale

« « Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot | Home | Protection » »

States rights*

First Montana was telling the feds to mind their own business, now in Wyoming:

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 ó 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.

says one of the sheriffs:

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.

More like this please.

* tgirsch will be along shortly to chastise my use of code words for racism.

Update: In comments, Cliff says the story may be bogus. Could be. We’ll see.

Update 2: More comments here indicate the story is not entirely true.

18 Responses to “States rights*”

  1. bob r Says:

    Not much chance of that _ever_ happening around here (King County, WA — home of Seattle). Sure would be nice if it did.

  2. nk Says:

    Well, no. There’s a Supremacy Clause in the Constitution. And I will reserve judgment on this sheriff. His position on guns is just fine with me. But I’m afraid that he is taking it too far.

  3. SayUncle Says:

    But Iím afraid that he is taking it too far.

    No doubt. But I’m guessing the feds took it too far first.

  4. Ahab Says:

    Yeah, this sounds like a classic pissing contest between the federales and the local cops. I would say (based on experience) that said pissing contests 9 times out of 10 are started by the feds, and this sheriff is probably tired of being jerked around.

    Not that I blame him.

  5. Cliff Says:

    There would seem to be more than a little evidence that this story is bogus.

  6. SayUncle Says:

    Like?

  7. JKB Says:

    As always, the devil is in the details, here is a site that, while not proof of validity, does place the case in context. The court case was settled out of court and seems to be mostly driven by wildlife management issues. Although the context does cause it to cover non-economic activity, thus avoiding the Commerce Clause.

    http://www.jacksonholeoutfitters.com/Jurisdiction.htm

  8. ParatrooperJJ Says:

    It is all fun and games until a Fed arrests the Sheriff for obstruction.

  9. Phelps Says:

    The supremacy clause guarantees that the constitution is the highest law of the land, not that the Feds are the highest officers in the land. They are still subject to state laws.

  10. RAH Says:

    I did a google search and says a similar case or original case dates to Knoxville TN. Apparently in the Big Horn County case a policy was instituted to require federal cases to be checked with the sheriffs office.

    NO court dictated this.

  11. ParatrooperJJ Says:

    Actually they are not subject to state laws in the performance of their official duties. If they get arrested, the Justice Dept will file a motion to move the case to Federal Court. This will be granted and the case will then be dismissed.

  12. gattsuru Says:

    Actually they are not subject to state laws in the performance of their official duties.

    That’s the important part. Their duties are to uphold the law, and if the average whistle-blower is accurate on even 10% of the stuff that gets tossed around, that’s a lot of potential fun.

    But it just sounds like normal back-and-forth stuff to make a point rather than actually help folk.

  13. Kristopher Says:

    The folks at commenting at “Armed and the Law” aren’t finding the cases quoted in CASELAW.

    It’s looking like this story originated when some constitutionalist/common law ranter misquoted an old 1998 decision.

    It wouldn’t be the first time that a member of that crowd stretched the hell out of something.

    I’m afraid the feds still have the right to walk on public property and make arrests without local permission.

    Sorry guys.

  14. Glenn B Says:

    This will go to the Supreme Court, and it will be over ridden. I say that with a great amount of certainty. Say I am wrong now if you want, but this is what will very likely happen, as it has happened before.

  15. tgirsch Says:

    Huh, what? Did someone say my name?

    In any case, it’s a ridiculous allegation. It’s no secret that “States’ Rights” is often used as racial code, and hasn’t been for decades. So there’s no chance I’ll accuse it of of being “secret code.”

    [Yeah, yeah, I know: Reagan’s speech in Philadelphia, MS was totally innocent, and in no way different than if somebody went to a Jewish community center in Germany and touted the virtues of economy rail service to Poland. Carry on…]

  16. straightarrrow Says:

    First, this is not recent. Wy. did this well before Mt. bowed up. The sheriffs in Wy got what they wanted. They stopped a lot of federal abuse of Wy citizens outside constitutional law. Ten or more years ago. It did happen. It may be that the Feds didn’t push it in court. They would have lost if they had. I do not remember all the particulars, but I do remember when it happened. I also remember the following news blackout on it. I am not surprised that people have trouble proving it ever happened. This is not the kind to thing the Feds want to get around.

    Lon Horiuchi remained under state murder indictment in Idaho during the entire tenure of the Idaho AG at the time. He avoided prosecution not because the federal courts took over and dismissed charges, but because the federal government hid him and refused to disclose his whereabouts or surrender his body to Idaho.

    Only when the newly elected AG took office and dismissed the charges was the mother shooting sonofabitch out from under indictment. The USAG and I think one federal court ruled that Horiuchi couldn’t be tried for murder committed as a part of his official duty, but if Idaho had gotten their hands on him before they got a new AG, he would have paid the price.

    I find it instructive that although Horiuchi was the recipient of federal protection, the feds never quashed the indictment as a point of law.

  17. Rivrdog Says:

    Before all of you get all teary-eyed at the thought of such excellent Constitutional living in Wyoming, allow me to point out the City of Cheyenne, where moonbattery lives on. The town has now just barred pets, or at least dogs, from private possession in the city limits. Present licensed animals are “grandfathered” in until they expire of old age, but may not be replaced.

    If the town clowns of Cheyenne can claim to have that power, usurping the Constitution is a walk in the park for them.

    Reality bites.

  18. Xrlq Says:

    # Glenn B Says:
    April 4th, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    This will go to the Supreme Court, and it will be over ridden. I say that with a great amount of certainty. Say I am wrong now if you want, but this is what will very likely happen, as it has happened before.

    I’m pretty sure you are wrong, but only on a technicality: the issue will never get anywhere near the Supreme Court. Either the story is a fake, as I strongly suspect, or the ruling was so frivolous that even the Ninth Friggin’ Circuit can handle it on appeal without generating enough controversy to get the Supreme Court’s attention. The notion that the state of Wyoming would establish county officials as having powers exceeding those of state officials is questionable enough; the notion that it would think it could elevate any state or local official above the federal government is patently frivolous.

    I must say, though, that I’m amused to hear self-styled “constitutionalists” heap praise on a story which, if true, would constitute a blatant violation of the U.s. Constitution.

    TGirsch, I don’t see where Uncle accused you of calling states rights a “secret” code word for racism. He said, and I quote, “tgirsch will be along shortly to chastise my use of code words for racism.” In your response, you blasted his allegation as “ridiculous,” then proceeded to prove it correct by saying ‘It’s no secret that “States’ Rights’ is often used as racial code, and hasní’ been for decades.” So even if you were right on the underlying issue, it seems pretty clear Uncle was right in predicting your response.

    Of course there are examples of “states’ rights” being invoked to justify attempts by states to maintain a racist policy over the objection of the federal government. There are also examples of “states’ rights” being invoked to justify attempts by states to maintain just about any other kind of policy over the objection of the federal government. This particular story, if true, is a case in point. Sure it’s a retarded (or, more likely, apocryphal) policy, with a state official asserting a “right” no state actually has, but that’s neither here nor there. The point is that in this case, along with many others (“medical” marijuana being another high-profile example), the concept of “states’ rights” is frequently invoked, rightly or wrongly, in favor of states asserting powers on issues having nothing to do with racism.

    On the flip side, I’m not aware of a cases where anyone invoked “states’ rights” in support of a racist federal policy to be shoved down the throats of unwilling states. So maybe the more honest assessment of “states’ rights” is that it is a code word for people who want state to … um … have more rights?