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News Opinion Readers Respond

Courts, not sheriffs, interpret the Constitution

It is interesting to see Second Amendment enthusiasts like letter writer John Armstrong embracing a few county sheriffs' announced refusal to endorse Maryland's new gun law based on its unconstitutionality ("Sheriff's refusal to enforce gun law is victory for people," June 13).

My last check of the Constitution shows that the Founders — whose wisdom is so often glorified by conservatives — used Article III and Article VI to specifically give the judicial branch the responsibility of determining the constitutionality of federal, state, and local laws. Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme Court has been deciding such issues as our court of last resort since 1803.

Yet Mr. Armstrong and some local law enforcement officers (who are bound by oath to uphold the Constitution as originally written, amended, and interpreted by the courts through the process of judicial review) seem to think our Founders intended each of us to apply our own interpretation to the law.

Really? Citizens choosing which laws and which sections of the Constitution to obey has a name — anarchy.

Art Lapenotiere, Westminster

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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