Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Local police canít uphold U.S. laws

    Your “Amusing is also serious” editorial in the April 3 edition was interesting but also incorrect. You stated that law enforcement officers swear an oath to “uphold the Constitutions of the United States and of the state of Idaho,” which is correct.  However, the Constitution and the law are two entirely different things.
    The actual oath that officers swear to is to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and the laws and the Constitution of the state. Local and state law enforcement officers do not swear to uphold the laws of the United States because they do not have the authority to do so.  Only federal officers are empowered to enforce federal law, although they can and do request assistance from local law enforcement agencies when operating within that jurisdiction.
    Local and state officers may take special training from the federal government that will provide them with the authority to enforce the specific federal laws that the training covers (such as border state agencies who have trained with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement). However, the federal government may revoke that authority at any time for any reason.
    So the “high jinks” of the Legislature was not foolish or a violation of any specific laws or customs, it was simply an empty gesture designed to express defiance to what they believe is the continued erosion of individual rights by the federal government.
Heather Saunders
Richfield, Idaho

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