Despite (or because) I’ve spent nearly 30 years in and around law enforcement, courts and a bazilion attorneys, I’ve refrained from publishing legal advice unless I was 100% sure of what I was talking about. And even then I would preface my comments/remarks by saying “I’m not an attorney and you should consult an attorney for professional legal advice”.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer told a Utah sheriff that if Barack Obama issues an executive order, that order is the law and the sheriff must obey. However, jurisprudence on this topic reveals exactly the opposite.
The president can issue executive orders only to employees of the federal government—and only regarding implementing federal laws or programs. A governor can likewise issue executive orders to employees of his state government regarding the laws or programs of that state.
Every sheriff is a county officer, elected by the voters of that county. The Supreme Court held in Printz v. U.S. in 1997 that the Tenth Amendment forbids the federal government from ever ordering any state or local official to carry out a federal program. Ironically, that case also involved a sheriff—Jay Printz of Montana—and a federal gun control law.
According to Wiki: “Blitzer graduated from Kenmore West Senior High School and received a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University at Buffalo in 1970.”…”In 1972, he received a Master of Arts in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.”
Blitzer holds no law degree, has never formally studied law and has absolutely no business telling anyone – much less a sheriff – anything about the law without saying something to the effect that “I’m not an attorney, but I think…..”. And this time he was outrageously wrong.
For a man who has been directly involved as a journalist since the early 1970s, Blitzer should know better than to make such statements without first consulting the legal staff at CNN. Had he done so, he would have had a reputable source upon which to support his words.
This might not sound like a big deal to you, but you should have seen the Facebook and Twitter comments this gaffe generated! Liberal commenters believed every word Blitzer said because, well….He’s Wolf Blitzer. Conservative commenters obviously researched the topic and immediately attacked the accuracy of his statement and cited legitimate sources. And despite the reaction, I’m sure many of those Liberal writers still believe what Blitzer said is true.