Blog Question: What does it truly mean to you to truly be a constitutional sheriff?
Another question and Don's answer from the personal blog.
Question: I have a question for the Candidates. What does it truly mean to you to truly be a constitutional sheriff. Not the canned answer of I support the 2nd amendment, or I tool and oath to defend the constitution. Instead what it means to you to stand up for the people in Laramie county as constitutionally supporting them and their rights and freedoms. We have seen all too often the ever-present encroachment from the Feds, and changes around the country. Tell us how you will stand for our Children in the Schools, tell us how you will place the people first before the Feds, tell us what the 9th and 10th Amendments really mean to you. tell us why the Wyoming constitution is so important and how it protects us.
Don's answer: I have been a deputy sheriff for over 26 years with this agency. As a young deputy, my whole focus was on upholding the law in my jurisdiction and protecting its citizens without too much thought about what it really meant to work for an elected official who was installed into the position by the voters of the county and empowered by both the US and Wyoming Constitutions. The position of sheriff above all others bears the stamp of approval of the people and carries the weight of an office which roots run deep in the Constitution.
Anyone can be elected to the office of sheriff and say they believe in the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment, but the job is so much more than that. I will not claim to be a constitutional expert by any means, but I will state what being a Constitutional Sheriff means to me personally. I am not running for the position just to wield the power of the office, to make a point or get back at people for being terminated from a position. I am running because I believe in the office and all that goes with it.
Beyond all of the words touted by others about what the position means, to me it is a feeling deep in my soul, one guided not only by the Constitution but on the founding principles which it was cast. Principles which have unfailing ties to our creator. A constitutional sheriff is one who represents all of the community no matter if they share the same views or not. He or she is a protector of the people and must possess the internal strength to stand up against all forces who would encroach on the rights granted to them by the Constitution. This includes the federal government. Where some people seem to stray away from the path is when they allow federal government or state government, for that matter, to either overstep their authority or go to far the other way and completely shut the state or federal government out. For society to function smoothly, there must be a balance. A constitutional sheriff takes this into consideration and partners with the state and federal government to better serve the people where it is a benefit but also insures they do not overstep and infringe on people’s rights.
To the issue of protecting children in the schools, I assume that you are referring to the young lady in Laramie who was arrested for not wearing a mask on school property. This situation was not handled well at all. No child should have to go through what she did. Mandates are not state laws. State laws and the constitution are the only avenue by which a sheriff should function. A more effective way to have handled the situation would have been to bring in the parents and discuss the issue, not have her arrested for not wearing a mask. The mandate by the school district is not an enforceable offense anyway. They can have a child suspended and removed from school property for not following rules and then not allow her back on the property until compliance was gained or the rule was changed.
The solution however does not lie in the actions or inaction of law enforcement. It lies with the parents who must come together to voice their opinion on the rules governing their children while in school. If they cannot get a satisfactory resolution, the next step is to have the issue heard by the courts, just like what happened last week when the Supreme Court overturned the President’s vaccine mandate.
To your question of the 9th and 10thamendments, to be honest, I had never researched the 9th amendment, but after familiarizing myself, my interpretation is that it gives overwatch and protections to anything not specifically enumerated in the “Bill of Rights” which are made up of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. The 10th amendment, authored by George Washington states that any powers that the Constitution does not give the United States Government, belong to the states and people, excluding powers that the Constitution says the states cannot have. In a nutshell, the 10th amendment protects the states from federal overreach. Washington and the other framers of the Constitution knew full well that a large overreaching government was no better than the monarchy they bled and died to gain their independence from.
The Wyoming Constitution much like the United States Constitution gives us certain protections governing a free people. It makes allowances for protection in the form of a militia, identifies the branches of government and how they are to function as well as everything else from water rights to how elections are to be conducted.