Nita Naugle: Vote for integrity

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It’s been said the federal, state and local government does not apply law according to true process; they merely pick and choose which laws to defend and those to oppose.

The recent letters to the editor opposing Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins’ interpreted comments articulately express the individuals’ indignation at this picking and choosing at the local level. They are right, this picking and choosing of what state laws an elected official will enforce and which are not to be enforced should not be an option; however, it is. It has been an option and has been debated since the Constitution was drafted more than 200 years ago: federal law vs. state law vs. local law.

For example, the Supremacy Clause of Article VI of the Constitution decrees federal law to be the highest form of law in the United States legal system, that all state judges must follow federal law when a conflict arises between federal law and state law. However, the state of Colorado recently picked and chose not to follow federal decree on marijuana laws. We also see the reverse: Federal government and elected officials chose not to trump states’ marijuana rulings but are choosing to try to trump states’ immigration laws.

In all levels of government, budgeting of monies to enforce one area of law more than another is picking and choosing which laws to defend, uphold and make priority.

Is this right? No, but when our highest level of government does not apply law according to true process, legal precedence has been set, even sometimes contrary to our beloved Constitution. It has been said, lead by example; however, look at our highest levels of leadership. Are these honorable examples? You decide, not based on party affiliation but one vote for integrity at a time.

Nita Naugle

Yampa

Comments

Fred Duckels 1 year ago

We have become so polarized that I think the future will only escalate the matter. It is hard to accept leaders that we oppose on most all fronts..

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Joe Meglen 1 year ago

Nita,

This is an excellent letter. Thanks for bringing your facts and common sense into the discussion.

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Howard Bashinski 1 year ago

Hi Nita,

As I mentioned in my letter to the editor about this, I have no problem with law enforcement "prioritizing" their enforcement efforts. You are correct that this is a standard practice at all levels.

I also have no problem with law enforcement officials having opinions and fighting for them. This is every American's right.

What I have a problem with is a public statement saying that a specific law will not be enforced because the official disagrees with it. This is not something we should accept. It would have been fine with me if our sheriff decided that enforcing the new gun law was going to be low on his enforcement priority list, but this is not what he said. The difference is subtle, but I believe important.

I think it is a very small step from law enforcement deciding the constitutionality of a law and individual citizens doing likewise. Our officials should be more circumspect about their comments.

hb

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