Hammond, Harvey pressed to weigh power in lesser magistrate doctrine

Sheriff Jim Hammond talks with Greg Luther, left, who defends the right of citizenry to photograph department officers in any public place.

Sheriff Jim Hammond talks with Greg Luther, left, who defends the right of citizenry to photograph department officers in any public place.

[In Chattanooga at a Tea Party event attended by 80 people, two candidates for Hamilton County sheriff are pressed about their views on the doctrines of the lesser magistrate. It is not referred to publicly by that name, but Sheriff Jim Hammond and rival Chris Harvey are asked if they would interpose themselves against an unconstitutional and illicit rule or program directed against the citizenry by an alien or hostile power, namely that of the United States. Each says he would uphold the Tennessee constitution and the right to bear arms. Mr. Harvey goes so far as to say that if feds came after his guns, the agents would have to pry them from his cold, dead hands. The real question is: What if they came after OTHER PEOPLE’S GUNS? Mr. Hammond is more circumspect, refusing to theorize what he would do; his response would depend upon the federal law and policy in motion, the particulars. He suggests he would not support a supposed federal roundup of firearms, like that being imposed in Connecticut by a new state law.

A federal gun roundup would hardly be legal, and is a most remote prospect. A more likely scenario is already in the works. It is overlooked at the meeting. Will the sheriff defend the prerogatives of county clerk Bill Knowles if he, as scribe and recordkeeper of county files, is demanded to perform in favor of two men, or two women, who want “license” to marry? If Mr. Knowles upholds his oath of office and refuses to record a alleged marital union, pursuant to the Tennessee constitution, will he have the military and police support from Hamilton County’s top law officer? — DJT]

By Matt Trewhella

On Feb. 3, the ACLU and eight homosexuals filed suit in federal court as an attack upon Wisconsin’s constitution. They hope to have a federal judge rule that its constitution is “unconstitutional” regarding what it states about marriage — that it is between one man and one woman.

Federal judges have been imposing the immorality of homosexual marriage upon states around the nation following the Windsor ruling in Washington, whose legal arguments are those of federalism and state’s rights. The people of Wisconsin — like those in Tennessee and other states — voted for their constitutional amendments to protect marriage from sexual outlaws and moral anarchists. Tennessee’s marriage protection amendment was passed in 2006 by 81 percent in a plebiscite.

Governors and legislators have stood wringing their hands, saying that they will fight these rulings against proper marriages (in the federal courts), but that in the end, if ruled against, they must comply. This claim is an utter lie.

The founders of the United States never expected the states to just comply with federal court decisions — including U.S. Supreme Court decisions. America’s founders never expected the states to just always obey the federal government.

Chris Harvey, an officer in the Hamilton County sheriff's department, is seeking to become sheriff.

Chris Harvey, an officer in the Hamilton County sheriff’s department, is seeking to become sheriff.

The resolves of Jefferson, Madison

James Madison and Thomas Jefferson wrote the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions in 1798. These were acts of defiance issued by state legislatures against lawless federal government actions. The Virginia Resolution declares in part,  “the states who are parties thereto [parties to the U.S. Constitution], have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.”

The Kentucky Resolution declares in part, “and that whensoever the general government [federal government] assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.

In 1809, the Connecticut legislature commended Gov. Jonathan Trumble for “his refusal” to obey the federal government and defend its state laws and interests.

In 1859, the Wisconsin legislature stood in defiance of federal tyranny and refused obedience to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the case of Sherman Booth, who defended a runaway slave. They declared in part, “Resolved, that this assumption of jurisdiction by the federal judiciary, in the said case, and without process, is an act of undelegated power, and therefore without authority, void, and of no force.”

Gov. Walker of Wisconsin must defend that state’s constitution and defy any federal judge who attempts to trample the state constitution. He should not hide behind the hem of attorney general J.B. Van Hollen while he tries to get “justice” in federal courts, and then just comply when the federal government imposes evil upon people of the state through court opinions.

Texas rebuke

Recently, a federal judge trampled the state constitution of Texas, but stayed his “order” pending appeal. Gov. Rick Perry responded by saying,

Texans spoke loud and clear by overwhelmingly voting to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in our Constitution, and it is not the role of the federal government to overturn the will of our citizens. The 10th Amendment guarantees Texas voters the freedom to make these decisions, and this is yet another attempt to achieve via the courts what couldn’t be achieved via the ballot box. We will continue to fight for the rights of Texans to self-determine the laws of our state.

What Gov. Perry stated is true and proper.

When you read history, you notice that evil propagated through law is enabled through the compliance of all lower levels of government. You are left wondering — why did they all just obey?  Why did not one state, one governor, one county, one mayor, one city — stand in defiance of the wrong being done?

Tennessee citizens must demand of Gov. Haslam that he defend the state’s constitution. State citizens must demand that he — as the Virginia legislature stated — “interpose for arresting the progress of the evil.”

As abolitionist Frederick Douglas once said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

Source: Matt Trewhella is the pastor of MercySeat Christian Church (MercySeat.net) and the founder of Missionaries to the Preborn (MissionariesToThePreborn.com). He and his wife, Clara, reside in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, and have 11 children. He is author of  The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates, available at Amazon. A website is LesserMagistrate.com.

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