Like Elvis in 1956, The Beatles in 1964, and someone neither you nor I have heard of in 1672, right now, Michigan is a hot topic.
The state’s been on lockdown, and people are angry. One man’s even been arrested for threatening to kill the governor.
Amid the turmoil, another sheriff’s taking a stand: He’s not going to enforce Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-destitute-and-alone — or, stay-at-home — orders.
And this guy’s a Democrat.
On Friday’s episode of the No BS News Hour podcast (starting around 28:30), Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson laid it out for host Charlie LeDuff — cops don’t make the law, but they’re responsible for some degree of discretion in its enforcement.
After playing an audio clip about a barber illegally reopening his shop, Charlie asked:
“Are you gonna be enforcing these do-not-open orders? Are you going to stand down?”
Chris sounded more interested in the Constitution than the governor’s pen. But the nation’s founding document also doesn’t give him inordinate power:
“You know, people have to talk about the Constitution in its entirety, and that’s the separation of powers, and the sheriff is the executive branch of that separation. We enforce laws. With discretion — remember that. The judicial branch determines if whatever we’re enforcing made by the legislators…is what they wrote, constitutional? It is dangerous for police officers to determine what’s right and what’s wrong. Otherwise, I could look at LaFayette and say, ‘You know, by the order of the sheriff, I don’t agree with the speed limit. Go as fast as you want.'”
“I can’t do that,” he continued.
But — and it’s a big one, given the circumstances…as for Sheriff Chris’s office, where tyranny is concerned, you can — like New Edition — count them out:
“But what I can do is say, ‘I’m not gonna park [cop] cars…and pull over everybody that’s going 1 over (the speed limit).’ So I tell this to my people in Genesee County, ’cause I have…seen people on…the business side — they’re dying. We have not raided a business. We have not shut a business down. We’re not pulling people over. We’re not writing tickets. And don’t expect us to do it.”
It seems Chris may be of the same mind as Port of Seattle Policeman Greg Anderson, who was placed on leave recently after standing up for Americans’ liberties and encouraging his fellow officers to decline from enforcing unconstitutional dictates (if you haven’t read Greg’s story, please check it out here).
Back to the podcast, Charlie exclaimed, “Now, that’s news.”
To many Michiganians, I’m sure it’s great news.
And Chris isn’t alone in his badged defiance. On Thursday, RedState’s T.LaDuke noted a growing trend:
Sheriff Brian BeGole (of Shiawassee County) is now one of three other Michigan sheriffs who have come out and said they will focus on enforcing laws that the legislature has passed and not focus on executive fiats from the Governor. That he’s joining others in his profession in recognizing that this might be a bit of an overreach on the Governor’s part is a really good sign that the republic is working as the founders intended.
So add one more to that list, and a Democratic one at that.
Meanwhile, Ohio’s Republican governor is talking about citations over people standing too close together at bars.
Will Michigan’s governor give in? With all the contempt she’s been paid, if condemnation was cash she’s be richer than Elvis in 1957. Or The Beatles in 1965. Or someone neither you nor I have heard of in 1673.
But as it stands, perhaps the biggest payback coming is a very iffy re-election — one unendorsed by a number of state sheriffs.
C-c-count them out.
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