This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 16, 2020:
Sheriffs of four Michigan counties told their constituents on Wednesday that Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s edicts in response to the COVID-10/coronavirus exceeded her executive authority and, as a result, they wouldn’t be enforcing them.
Their statement was directed to the people of each county who elected them to their offices: “We write today to inform the public of our respective counties of our opposition to some of Governor Whitmer’s executive orders … as overstepping her executive authority. As a result, we will not have strict enforcement of these orders.”
Then came the lesson:
Each of us took an oath to uphold and defend the Michigan Constitution, as well as the U.S. Constitution, and to ensure that your God-given rights are not violated.
We believe that we are [your] last line of defense in protecting your civil liberties.…
As Sheriffs of your community we want you to know we have your back and will continue to serve the people who have entrusted us with your protection.
The Federalist reviewed a few of the more outrageous and egregious examples of the governor’s executive overreach including: 1) It’s ok to continue to sell lottery tickets but not fruit or vegetable seeds; 2) Citizens can’t buy paint; or 3) They can’t travel “between residences” including going across the street to a neighbor’s house.
Colonel Mike Angley, a former U.S. Air Force special agent with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI), summarized the role of a sheriff:
A sheriff is, by most state Constitutions, the chief law enforcement officer in the county. By assuming this status, a sheriff performs a check and balance role on behalf of the citizens who elected him to office. In many respects the sheriff becomes the “last man standing” against government tyranny, overreach, public corruption and rights infringements.
The four Michigan sheriffs were an answer to Judge Andrew Napolitano, who told Tucker Carlson on Fox News on Monday night, “Hopefully, [there] will be outrage stirred up by the type of reporting that you … have begun to [do].”
He was referring to Carlson’s “ripping” of the Michigan governor’s overreach, adding that it could apply to nearly every other governor in the union:
Your analysis of Governor Whitmer could apply to nearly all the remaining 49 governors who assume that they have the power to crush individual liberties, violate the Constitution, and write laws.
Laws in this country are written by legislative branches after public hearings and debates, so there’s a transparency….
But when the executive branch takes upon itself the role of not just enforcing the law, but of making up new ones … we are witnessing the slow death … the death in slow motion … of civil liberties.
These governors — these petty tyrants — will use this power again and again until some courageous federal court or an outraged public stops them.
Or until four courageous sheriffs in northern Michigan take their oaths of office seriously and take a stand against such tyranny.