Defend the Constitution
Every official that takes office, as well as every officer, judge, attorney, and member of the armed forces, swears an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
However, people are coming under attack lately for their strict adherence to their oath and States are even considering laws to remove officials for adhering to their oath.
Refuse to Follow
You may have seen news stories about Sheriffs and Police Officers who pledged that they would not enforce unconstitutional gun laws, if they were passed.
One group, the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, even organized this effort and reached out to collectively put their efforts in sync. CSPOA lists 449 Sheriffs (60 of which are elected Sheriffs of Texas Counties) who have pledged their support.
Another group, Oath Keepers, which is comprised of “current and formerly serving military, reserves, National Guard, veterans, Peace Officers, and Fire Fighters,” who have vowed to uphold the Constitution and refuse to follow any order that would violate civil liberties.
Texas Legislature Attacks
On March 1, 2013, Rep. Yvonne Davis (D-Dallas), filed HB2167, which is currently pending, that would force the removal from office any official for failure to enforce a law.
Not only does this include failure to enforce a law, but it also includes any regulation, executive order, or court order. Can you imagine how dangerous that would be for a Governor of a state to be removed from office for failure to enforce an Presidential Executive Order?
The official could be removed if they “willfully fail to enforce” but also for directing subordinates not to enforce these laws, regulations, and executive orders. In fact, the official could be removed merely for stating orally or in writing that they would not enforce them.
Disqualified for 10 Years
To begin the process, the Attorney General would have to file a court action, which would be accelerated just as an election contest. If the official is found guilty, then the Court would enter an order removing the official from public office. Further, they would immediately be disqualified from holding public office for a period of 10 years.
Why is this Scary?
Well, one could argue that the idea of elected officials refusing to enforce laws written by our legislators is scary, but what scares me here is the all inclusive list of what qualifies as “laws” (especially the executive order).
As scary as that might be, having elected officials that AREN’T willing to stand behind their oath to defend the constitution and refuse to enforce unconstitutional laws is even scarier.
Even though this all seems a bit confusing, especially over a bill that hasn’t been signed into law yet, imagine the absolute pandemonium that will ensue when 60 Texas Sheriffs are removed from office because they signed a petition to uphold their oath and refuse to enforce unconstitutional gun laws.
–Authored by Matthew L. Harris, Esq.,
Matthew Harris Law, PLLC – Civil Litigation Division
1001 Main Street, Suite 200, Lubbock, Texas, 79401-3309
Tel: (806) 702-4852 | Fax: (800) 985-9479