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the Constitution’s conferral upon Congress of not all governmental powers, but only discreet, enumerated ones.”
Scalia then quotes the basis of the sheriffs’ suit in quoting the Tenth Amendment which affirms the limited powers doctrine, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution…are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” To clarify this point, we need to understand that the powers and jurisdiction granted to the federal government are few, precise, and expressly defined.
The office of sheriff has a long and noble history. It dates back over a thousand years and originated in England. The sheriff is the only elected law enforcement official in America. He is the last line of defense for his citizens. He is the people’s protector. He is the keeper of the peace, he is the guardian of liberty and the protector of rights. A vast majority of sheriffs will agree with all of this until they are asked to apply these principles of protection to federal criminals...
...and some sheriffs have indeed taken very courageous stands against the feds coming in to their counties to “enforce” their laws. Cattle, lands, homes, bank accounts, cash, and even children have been seized and prisons filled all in the name of federal enforcement of EPA rules, The Endangered Species Act, IRS rules, (of which there are over 10 million pages) Forest Service and Dept. of the Interior technicalities and the list goes on and on. The sheriff of NYE County, Nevada stopped federal agents from seizing a rancher’s cattle and even threatened to arrest the feds if they proceeded against his orders. Sheriffs in Wyoming have told the agents of all federal bureaus to check with them before serving any papers, making any arrests, or confiscating any property.
Yes, he has the right and the duty to do so. In Mack/Printz v USA, the U S Supreme Court declared that the states or their political subdivisions, “are not subject to federal direction.” The issue of federal authority is defined even further in this most powerful Tenth Amendment decision. The two sheriffs who brought the suit objected to being forced into federal service without compensation pursuant to some misguided provisions of the Brady Bill. The sheriffs sued the USA (Clinton adm.) and won a major landmark case in favor of States’ Rights and local autonomy.
My rights don't mean a thing, if I can't enforce them. Neither do anyone else's right mean anything, if they can't enforce them.
Legal rights mean everything.