Enforcing the law | Letter

Regarding Mr. Roegner’s piece “Are Sheriffs above the law?” (bothell-reporter.com, April 9), that article contained a particularly disturbing piece of doublespeak:

“Recently 13 elected county sheriffs said they will ignore…I-1639 because they didn’t think it was constitutional, which places them at odds with their sworn oath to uphold the law and the Constitution.”

I do not know if Mr. Roegner read this sentence before publishing, but it is absurd at face value. If a sheriff believes a law is unconstitutional, then the very essence of upholding an oath to protect the Constitution is to refuse to enforce such a law.

He later claims that law enforcement do not have discretion over which laws to enforce. This is false, strictly speaking from a legal perspective. Court rulings such as Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales establish that police are not obligated to enforce any law. And there is a long American tradition of law enforcement refusing to enforce unjust and harmful laws such as imprisoning non-violent drug offenders, immigration (sanctuary cities), going clear back to refusal to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act. The common thread? A respect for the liberties of peaceful individuals in the face of a government being driven by special interests seeking oppression.

Mr. Roegner should be grateful to know there are local law enforcement officials willing to stand up for the rights of citizens in their communities, because when state or federal government turns bad, they are the last line of defense to protect Americans from tyranny short of citizens themselves rising up. The Second Amendment was written in recognition of this reality that the writers had just lived through.

David Johnson

Kirkland

More in Letters to the Editor

Okoloko is hard working and ethical | Letter

As a recently retired trial attorney after a long career in the… Continue reading

Duerr hardworking and engaged | Letter

Davina Duerr may be the most hard-working and engaged member who has… Continue reading

Vote for Okoloko | Letter

I support Judge Edirin Okoloko for the position of Superior Court judge.… Continue reading

Retain Okoloko as Superior Court judge | Letter

After a 23-year career as a Snohomish County judge, having served more… Continue reading

Vote for Thompson | Letter

Mason Thompson is the kind of civic leader that Bothell needs. He… Continue reading

Vote for Henderson | Letter

There’s a lot at stake for the Bothell City Council election this… Continue reading

Don’t just vote, speak up | Letter

Great news that people can register and vote on election day (‘State’s… Continue reading

Correcting our ways | Letter

Correcting our ways I am angered, moved and remain hopeful by the… Continue reading

Integral to this country | Letter

On Aug. 2, Mr. Roger Clarke-Johnson’s letter (Bothell-Kenmore Reporter, Aug. 2) argued… Continue reading

Trump’s message unseemly but not racist | Letter

Many of Ms. Pak’s columns revolve around a recurring theme: “Let’s talk… Continue reading

A heavy burden | Letter

There are more than 110,000 residents of our state living with Alzheimer’s… Continue reading

Vote ‘yes’ on Prop. 1 | Letters

Vote ‘yes’ to Prop. 1 Please vote to approve the revised Prop.… Continue reading