To the Editor:

The current debate over whether the sheriff has the authority to cede permission to Forest Service law enforcement to act within the county should be answered in a clear and understandable way. Just saying, "They can do it" or "It's something that has already been decided," needs to be clarified.

In the "Citizens Rule Book," page seven has this to say about the law of the land, "The general misconception is that any statute passed by legislators bearing the appearance of law constitutes the law of the land. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and any statute, to be valid, must be in agreement. It is impossible for a law which violates the Constitution to be valid."

The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law is, in reality, no law, but is wholly void and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision branding it.

"No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it." (16Am Jur. 2d. Sec. 177; late 2d., Sec. 256)

It appears by all logic that the sheriff is the high law (remember High Sheriff) enforcement authority within the county, and if he sees fit not to sign a cooperative agreement with the Forest Service, then that's it.

By the way, readers, have you read the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution? Doesn't take long and there's plenty to mull over. You will be surprised at the parallels between when the Declaration was penned and what is happening in our country today.

Dave Traylor

John Day

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