Attorney Michael Peroutka
May 28, 2014
Last year, the legislature in my state of Maryland, enacted something called Senate Bill 281. This "enactment" (notice, please, that I am not calling it a "law") blatantly violates the God-given right for Marylanders to keep and bear arms for their individual and common defense, and its purpose and intent run contrary to the clear language of the Second Amendment.
Now, as I said, I am calling SB281 an "enactment," and I am NOT calling it a "law." My source of authority for NOT calling it a "law" is twofold. First, there is God's Word, what is referred to in the Declaration of Independence as "The Law of Nature and of Nature's God." God's Word, in the words of Sir William Blackstone, is binding in all places at all times, and no human "law" can be suffered to contradict it. It is the supreme law of the universe. Secondly, there is the Constitution which, to the extent that it conforms to God's Word, is the supreme law of the land.
This unpleasant situation of a legislature declaring unlawful things to be lawful is not new. It's not even new in America. Our founders faced the exact same problem when Parliament passed enactments which exceeded their authority and tried to enforce its will on the American colonies.
Our founders didn't recognize things like the "Stamp Act" and the "Townshend Act" as lawful. This is why the Declaration of Independence refers to these enactments as "pretended legislation." "Pretended Legislation"! So, here is one crucial thing that our ancestors knew that we seem to have forgotten: There are objective standards by which to determine if the acts of legislatures or executives or courts are lawful. Simply put these actions must be moral (not violating God's Word), and they must be constitutional (not violating the Constitution) or else they are NOT "law." Indeed, the Supreme Court once said essentially this in a case called Norton v. Shelby County.
In Norton v. Shelby County the Supreme Court said: An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation as inoperative as though it had never been passed. So, Senate Bill 281, as well as many other enactments of the Maryland legislature, is NOT law. Recognizing this, I wrote to my County Sheriff, Sheriff Ron Bateman, a man who has taken an oath, before God, to protect and defend his constituents from lawlessness. In my note, I made the case that this enactment by the legislature was NOT law and I asked him his intentions in this very important matter.
I wanted to know whether he intended to enforce SB 281, which I explained would be wrongful, or whether he intended to defend his constituents from this lawlessness. Since Sheriff Bateman is an elected official, I wanted to know whether he would take appropriate action to arrest and seek prosecution of those who might, "under the color of law," actually break the law by trying to enforce this immoral and unconstitutional enactment of the Maryland legislature and the Maryland governor.
His answer was disappointing. Essentially he said that he doesn't get to decide which laws he will enforce. He just does his job, which I take to mean, he will do whatever the legislature says even though it violates the law. Perhaps the greatest threat to liberty today in America is the fact that, almost without exception, those who are charged with law enforcement don't have any idea what the law actually is. They do not know the difference between "law" and "pretended legislation."
You see, unless and until Sheriff Bateman is able to perceive what law is and what law is NOT, he is not really qualified to do the job. In fact, his lack of understanding what our founders understood means he is not capable of defending and protecting our rights because he doesn't actually know what our rights are or where they come from.
Now, here's some good news. There is an organization dedicated to correcting this problem among sheriffs across America. It is called the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA). It was founded by former Graham County, Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack, who, among other things, took on the Clinton Administration when it tried to enforce a piece of "pretended legislation" known as the Brady Bill.
Sheriff Mack prevailed against the gun grabbing Clintons in the Supreme Court, and he has written several books including "The County Sheriff, America's Last Hope." I am sending this book to my Sheriff, Anne Arundel County Sheriff Bateman, and I am humbly asking him to give his attention to a proper, moral, legal understanding of his oath of office and the difference between "law" and "pretended legislation." I am also asking everyone in America to get and read Sheriff Mack's book and to share it with your own Sheriff. I am also suggesting that you join and support the CSPOA.
I believe Sheriff Mack is right when he says that America's Sheriffs are our last hope. We need to elect and support sheriffs that stand against "pretended legislation," not those who blindly enforce it.
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Michael Anthony Peroutka Esq. is a former Presidential candidate and co-founder of Institute on the Constitution (IOTC) an educational outreach of his law firm that presents the founders “American View” of law and government. IOTC has produced thousands of graduates in all 50 states with a full understanding of the Biblical principles on which those founding documents are based.
Michael is a graduate of Loyola College and the University of Baltimore School of Law.
Website: Constitution IOTC