Schirard needs refresher on responsibilities

It appears that our county sheriff, Duke Schirard (Letters, Herald, June 16), is somewhat confused about what office exactly he has been elected to. Last time I checked, we elected good ol’ Duke to enforce the laws of the state of Colorado in La Plata County. Yet, somehow, he seems to be laboring under the delusion that he is charged with interpreting the U.S. or state Constitutions. Perhaps someone should remind our sheriff that our separation of powers, at the state and federal levels, assigns the interpretation of the Colorado Constitution to the state courts and the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution to the federal courts.

Until either of these eminently qualified bodies have ruled on the constitutionality of a law passed by both houses of the Colorado Legislature and signed by our duly elected governor, Schirard is bound by his oath of office to enforce the law.

Now, if Schirard feels that such an obligation violates his personal conscience, or his private interpretation of our constitutions, or his personal honor or integrity, or – God forbid – his party loyalty, he has a long-established and eminently honorable venue to register his protest: resign. Electing to place himself above the law is a less-than-honorable substitute.

Tom Givón

Ignacio

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