There’s a new sheriff in town.
No, Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal hasn’t abdicated. In fact, Royal said he will be in attendance as Sheriff Richard Mack — one of the most well-recognized law enforcement officials in the nation — will deliver a talk in Grass Valley Friday.
Mack is the author of five books, has given talks in countless communities across the United States and appeared on several television programs, including “Good Morning America,” “Nightline,” ‘Court TV,” MSNBC and CNN, along with speaking as a guest on more than 500 radio talk shows worldwide.
“It’s been an amazing experience,” Mack said. “I call it my personal roller coaster ride.”
Mack was the former sheriff in Graham County, Arizona, and rose to national prominence after he successfully sued the federal government, claiming the Brady Bill, a 1993 gun control law, violated state sovereignty.
“The case was argued on the basis of the 10th Amendment, even though it concerned the Second Amendment,” Mack said. “Basically, I said the federal government has no authority to tell me what to do. The state has inviolable sovereignty.”
Ultimately, the United States Supreme Court agreed with Mack, saying significant elements of the bill, particularly provisions relating to state officers such as sheriffs, were unconstitutional.
Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia wrote the majority decision, saying that the separation of federal and state powers is a fundamental premise of the American system of governance, called “federalism.”
Since, Mack has been taking the fight on the road, explaining how states and local jurisdictions have the right to defy and put a stop to federal programs.
“The only state I haven’t been to is Alaska,” Mack said.
“Nobody has been to more Tea Party rallies than me. No way Sarah Palin has me beat on that.”
Mack said that the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, represents the perfect example of federal overreach.
“States cannot be forced to adopt a federal regulatory program,” he said. “States can opt out of Obamacare.”
Mack said most citizens don’t even realize that states and state officers have the right to defy federal authority.
“We have all fallen prey to political correctness, and politicians will continue to take away from our constitutional rights,” Mack said.
The Nevada County Republican Women Federated is sponsoring the event.
“It’s a really important issue,” said Judy Caler, a spokeswoman with the organization. “It’s difficult to affect things at the state. A lot of issues take place locally, from yellow-legged frogs to medical marijuana, healthcare and drones. It’s important for people to realize that local officials, and especially the sheriff, have the power and a duty to stand up to the federal intruding on the territory.”
Caler expressed disappointment that Royal agreed to introduce Mack and then backed off, apparently under pressure from Nevada County’s politically charged blogosphere.
“I think he should take a stand on this issue,” she said.
Royal said he did initially agree to introduce Mack but reconsidered.
“I chose not to,” Royal said. “Philosophically, I don’t agree with all his beliefs.”
However, Royal said he is looking forward to meeting with Mack, saying he has respect for the fight against the Brady Bill in the 1990s.
“I will be at the meeting,” he said.
Sheriff Mack will be speaking beginning at 6:30 p.m., Friday, at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building.
General admission is $15 at the door or $10 in advance at BriarPatch Co-op or Gold-N-Green Equipment Rental. Current law enforcement personnel, high school and college students are free with identification.
To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.