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Mailbag: It’s about jurisdiction

Mailbag: It’s about jurisdiction

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The many writers here that have been critical of Sheriff Tim Mueller (and others) and called for his removal from office for not enforcing the law of the land may find the following interesting and informative.

It is a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court from which I quote:

“[T]he Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the State’s officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulation.” Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898, 935 (1997)

County sheriffs, an enforcement arm of one such political subdivision, have taken oaths to uphold the Constitution, as well as enforce the laws under their jurisdiction.

While there seems to be nothing prohibiting a sheriff from enforcing federal statutes (or executive orders), neither is a sheriff or any other state or local law enforcement agency compelled or required, nor is it their sworn duty, to enforce federal laws and/or regulations.

That’s why federal enforcement agencies exist: to enforce federal laws falling under their (federal) jurisdiction.

I’m sure this isn’t happy news to those calling for Sheriff Mueller’s ouster.

However, it’s clear that he is doing exactly the job he was elected to do in the manner I want and expect him to. This is a jurisdictional issue. Case law (per above cited U.S. Supreme Court decision) clearly defends Mueller’s position as stated in his letter to the vice president.

Keep up the good work, Sheriff Mueller.

James Carrick

Albany (Jan. 22)


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