Sheriff shouldn’t pick and choose laws to enforce, including SAFE Act

Posted 23 October 2015 at 12:00 am


The cognitive dissonance of the New York Revolution and the Orleans County chapter of SCOPE, as well as two of our candidates for Orleans County Sheriff, has been quite the sight to behold.

These citizens have constructed organizations dedicated to defending the constitutions of this great state and nation, and yet they call for a sheriff who would ignore a law that was written, passed, and (mostly) upheld by the legislative and judicial processes established by both of these documents.

And Mr. Bower and Mr. Drennan, who have campaigned so passionately, say they would defy one of the very laws that one of them will likely soon swear, under oath, to uphold and enforce.

At Wednesday night’s forum, Mr. Bower pointed out the Orleans County Legislature had passed a resolution calling for the full repeal of the SAFE Act. This resolution represented the will of the people, he said, and he would use this as his grounds for ignoring the SAFE Act.

Mr. Drennan too declared he would ignore the SAFE Act. Surely one of the well-versed constitutionalists in attendance could have explained that a local resolution does not supersede state law just as state law does not supersede federal law.

Mr. Bower and Mr. Drennan: Are there any other laws you disagree with and intend to disregard? Do you think it is the job of law enforcement officials to pick and choose which laws should be abided? Do you not believe impartiality to be a core tenet of the position you seek?

It is our right to disagree with our governing bodies. It is our right to organize and make our voices heard by our elected legislators and executives. It is our right to contest our grievances in court, where the legality of this law will ultimately be decided.

It is not our right to ignore the rule of law. And it is absolutely unacceptable for sheriff candidates to declare they will decide what is and is not the law of our land.

Mark Armstrong