The sheriff is on solid legal ground on I-1639


January 30, 2019

“I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and, if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”

—Thomas Jefferson

Some in Klickitat County are alarmed regarding Sheriff Bob Songer’s intent to not enforce I-1639. It speaks loudly of a deficit of knowledge by some pertaining to the sworn duties of a county sheriff in the U.S.

As an institution over 1,100 years old, the office of sheriff is grounded in ancient common law, crafted to counteract mob rule due to popular vote, fiat by rulers, or rogue legislators. Western Washington has a distinct numeric advantage to the eastern part of the state, having overrun the wishes of 24 counties, with I-1639. However, each sheriff in Washington is duty bound to not enforce I1639 on Constitutional grounds. Many sheriffs will be pressured to enforce the unlawful law, but by oath, they must not.

How can I come to such a conclusion? The county sheriff is elected by the people and solemnly bound by oath to preserve and protect the U.S. Constitution, above all else, as guardian of the people’s inalienable rights.

The Constitution is the “Law of the Land.” All statutes, state constitutions, and policies contrary to the constitution are null and void. If a sheriff lacks full understanding of the constitution, he is vulnerable to violation of his oath of office, potentially allowing judges, politicians, and mob rule to violate it. Further, lack of a full understanding of his duties, including a thorough knowledge of the constitution, could make him technically guilty of treason by not enforcing the constitution in his jurisdiction.

The authority of the sheriff cannot be diminished by state legislatures, courts, state constitution, or state ordinances. In enforcing the law—the constitution—the sheriff answers to “We the People,” no other, not even the governor. The sheriff cannot be removed from office by another elected official.

The Supreme Court has ruled: “The Sheriff is the ‘Chief Executive and Administrative Officer’ of a county, chosen by popular election.” (Harston v. Langston, Tex. Civ. App.) The sheriff, being the chief law enforcement officer, is under obligation to secure the peace; he answers to the people alone.

No politician can come between the sheriff and the People. The People’s business is the sheriff’s business, and his duty is to protect the People from anyone and anything that would encroach upon their rights. Working for the People alone, his sole duty is to protect their inalienable rights within his county against tyrannical judges, unlawful statutes of the state, and abusive government agencies. A U.S. marshal or other federal agent may not execute a Warrant within a county without notifying the sheriff; it is the duty of the sheriff to ensure that due process of law is met before allowing a Code Enforcement Officer, U.S. marshal, or other federal agent to proceed. This is the Law of the Land.

I-1639 was a deceitfully written piece of legislation that was ramrodded to a vote by folks with a specific, incremental agenda. It will not stand up in court and is a violation of our rights as outlined by the U.S. Constitution. It is unlawful “law.”


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