Do you support the Sheriffs first bill? In other words should federal law enforcement first get the permission of the highest county elected law enforcement official(Sheriff) before making an arrest,search or seizure?
This "Sheriffs First" bill would make it a state crime for a federal officer to arrest, search, or seize in the state (Montana in this example) without first getting the advanced, written permission of the elected county sheriff of the county in which the event is to take place. Locally-elected sheriffs are accountable to the people and are supposed to the the chief law enforcement officer of the county, bar none. This bill puts teeth into the expectation that federal agents must operate with the approval of the sheriff, or not at all. It also gives the local sheriff tools necessary to protect the people of his county, and their constitutional rights. There are exceptions in the legislation for "hot pursuit", U.S. customs and border patrol, corrupt sheriffs, and more.
In Montana, a plan to empower local sheriffs - CharlotteObserver.com
HELENA, Mont. The line of people stretched out the door of the committee room, all waiting for their turn to condemn or express their fears about the federal government.
Most identified themselves as ordinary Montana citizens or tea party supporters united by the belief that the government is chipping away at their rights and abusing the constitutions of the state and the nation.
They'd arrived for a public hearing on the so-called "Sheriffs First Act," a Montana senator's proposal to make sheriffs the supreme authorities in their counties. Federal agents would be required to obtain written permission from a sheriff before conducting a search, seizure or arrest in a county.
"I've come to the point where I don't trust the federal government to protect us," Helena resident Lisa Wamsley told the panel Friday. "I urge you to support this bill to regain what is rightfully ours as citizens of Montana."
Whether the worries of Wamsley or others at the hearing would be quelled even if the bill is approved is murky territory. It would still need to survive likely intense legal scrutiny over whether it violates the U.S. Constitution.
Jessica Fehr, spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney in Montana, declined to comment on whether such a bill is enforceable or how it might affect federal operations in Montana. But, prompted by a lawmaker's question, Gallatin County attorney Marty Lambert suggested there are questions over whether the bill violates the supremacy clause, which says the Constitution and federal law is "the supreme law of the land."
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