Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
There was an editorial opinion in the Arizona Republic today that harshes on a couple of yahoos recently arrested last month on U.S. 60 south of Wickenburg who called themselves "sovereign citizens." Our View: A word for 'sovereign citizens':
[They have] supercilious interpretations of the U.S. Constitution that supposedly
permit citizens to declare themselves part of a “sovereign-citizen
movement” that considers adherents beyond the reach of federal or state
law, or any authority more distant than that of county sheriff.
* * *
The sovereign-citizen movement promotes a lot of what most of us call
crime. Besides encouraging paper crimes such as creating bogus
mortgages and liens, it also promotes hostility toward the police. Two
“citizens” are on trial in Las Vegas on suspicion of conspiring to
kidnap a policeman.
Sovereign citizens generally believe the minimalist government
envisioned by the Founders has been replaced by an illegitimate
government that holds no authority over them.
This is a conspiracy theory. It presumes that the choices of other
citizens at the ballot box are meaningless and sovereigns alone are able
to correctly interpret the Constitution.
That’s not politics. It’s narcissism.
Oh, such short memories these editors have. Remember HB 2434, "Notification; federal law enforcement officers" (2012), sponsored by Reps. David Gowan, Carl Seel, and David Burnell Smith?
The Arizona Daily Star reported at the time, State bill puts feds second to sheriffs:
A state Senate panel has fired a warning
shot of sorts over the heads of federal law enforcement agencies: Don't
come nosing around these parts unless you get the local OK. Legislation
offered by Rep. David Gowan, R-Sierra Vista, would
require employees of those agencies to first notify the sheriff of the
county "before taking any official law enforcement action in a county in
The only exception would be if notification would impede the federal officer's duties. But even then, HB 2434
requires notifying the sheriff "as soon as practicable after taking the
action." The proposal took its first step toward becoming a reality
Thursday when the Senate Committee on Border Security, Federalism and
States Sovereignty voted 5-2 to approve, sending the bill to the full
Gowan said it's a simple matter of state sovereignty.
"If you look in your Constitution, you
will not find there are any police powers granted to the federal
government," he said. And Gowan said the 10th Amendment says any powers
not given to the federal government are reserved for the states and the
"That means the states have the inherent right to use law enforcement,'' he said.
From a practical standpoint, Gowan said
the highest elected law enforcement officers in the state are the
sheriffs of the 15 counties.
"They have a mandate from the people over
bureaucracies," he said, which includes federal agencies. "Without
this, we allow the bureaucrats to dictate and bring their vision of law
enforcement down upon the people who are duly elected."
Remember this bill? You should. it was actually approved by our Tea-Publican controlled legislature, and had to be vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer on April 11, 2012.
HB 2434 passed the Senate on a party-line vote with two members not voting.
HB 2434 passed the House on a party-line vote with five members not voting.
Many of these Tea-Publican "sovereign citizens" are still serving in the Arizona legislature — sponsor David Gowan was even promoted to House Majority Leader — and some who are no longer in the legislature are seeking to return in 2014.
So when Republic columnist Laurie Roberts starts her "De-Kook The Capitol" columns again, after today's editorial opinion harshing on this pair of "sovereign citizen" yahoos, I hope she will remember today's editorial opinion and properly label these Tea-Publican "sovereign citizens" as "Kooks" and mock them with equal disdain.
By the way, it's not just Tea-Publican legislators. This far-right "conspiracy theory" has infiltrated law enforcement agencies as well, something the Arizona Republic studiously avoids commenting on. Arizona's media villagers are failing to report on this scandal.