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 that exceeded their authority and tried to enforce their 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.
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom