Originally Posted by SVT-40
I can understand your opinions. But you must realize that LEO's cannot just refuse to enforce laws based on an individuals feelings. It's just not that simple.
LEO's use "discretion" to allow for issues and situations. Hopefully local D.A.'s and states attorneys will hand down some rulings to give guidance to LEO's.
It's not fair to rest the weight of making constitutional decisions on the shoulders of officers in the field who usually have very little time, if any to sit back and debate constitutional law before they act.
It's just not reasonable.
Those debates are for the law makers, judges and lawyers.
Then tell me: what exactly does your oath to uphold and defend the Constitution mean in practice
? If you do not use the Constitution as the litmus test to determine whether or not to enforce a law in a given situation then your oath makes no difference whatsoever in practice
Do you think you took the oath as merely some sort of formality?
The entire point
of the Nuremberg trials is that people who enforce the law and who carry out orders are not
mindless automatons who are limited to using their brains only to decide how
to enforce a law or carry out an order -- they have a moral obligation to also decide whether
to enforce a law or to carry out an order. Your situation as a LEO is no different than the situation of a soldier who has been given an order. The soldier must evaluate the order to determine for himself if it is Constitutional, and has the duty
to refuse to obey the order if it is not. You as a LEO have the same duty with respect to the law. The law to you is the same as an order is to a soldier.
Ask yourself what your oath to uphold and defend the Constitution could possibly
mean if not that.
The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It means it is the law that you and all other LEOs should be most
familiar with, by far. It supercedes and overrules all other law
. It cannot be
the supreme law of the land any other way.
ETA: To make things abundantly clear, I should note that the Constitution does not
say that it is the supreme law of the land "except in the face of a law which hasn't been challenged or which hasn't yet been ruled upon by the Supreme court". It says it is the supreme law of the land, period
. For it to be the supreme law of the land it must at all times
override any other conflicting law. And so it is not the case
that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land in practice
if LEOs are enforcing laws which are Unconstitutional just because they happen to be on the books at the time. The enforcement of a law is what defines, in practice
, whether or not a law is in effect. An Unconstitutional law is never
supposed to be in effect, and by enforcing such a law, LEOs are actually breaking
the supreme law of the land. And those LEOs took a direct and solemn oath to not