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Bill Before Arizona Senate Would Force U.S. To Get Local Sheriffs’ Permission To Enforce Federal Law

February 13, 2014 by  

A bill before the Arizona State Senate would make it a crime for Federal officers to attempt to enforce Federal law in the State without first receiving written permission from the County sheriff where the action is to occur.

According to the Arizona Daily Star, Senate Bill 1290 would require a Federal agent to obtain a county sheriff’s consent before arresting or searching anyone who’s the target of a Federal investigation or apprehension attempt in Arizona. The bill provides exceptions for crimes that are witnessed while in progress, for agents who are State-certified peace officers and for U.S. Customs and the Border Patrol.

Sponsored by Republican State Senator Judy Burges, the bill is intended to ensure elected sheriffs are able, under the law, to protect their constituents if the Federal government attempts an operation that “supersedes” the authority of the sheriff.

Richard Mack, former sheriff of Graham County in the State’s rural southeastern quadrant, argued persuasively for the bill before a Senate panel, according to the Daily Star.

“[W]e allow bureaucrats from Washington, D.C., to come in and supersede his [the sheriff’s] authority, and to do whatever they want in his county, and they can say nothing about it? …We’re asking that the federal government do something they should already be doing: verifying their work and what they’re doing with the sheriff as a check and balance so that atrocities committed in the 1990s especially by the federal government at Ruby Ridge and Waco and other places …This will be normal activity and will continue if we don’t have somebody locally telling the federal government, ‘You can’t do that,’” he said.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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