DENVER, CO – Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee today defeated clearly unconstitutional legislation sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Luck that would impede federal investigations and law enforcement actions by subjecting them to review and approval by local sheriffs before federal agencies can act.
“This legislation is plainly unconstitutional, and it would undermine federal law enforcement,” said Rep. Mike Weissman, D-Aurora. “This bill purports to allow county sheriffs to block federal law enforcement actions, such as investigations into serious crimes like human trafficking and drug trafficking, to the detriment of everyone in Colorado.”
HB22-1147, which is unconstitutional according to analysis prepared by nonpartisan staff, would require federal law enforcement departments to seek approval and notify county sheriffs before engaging in a law enforcement operation within their regions or jurisdictions. This would impede and jeopardize critical federal law enforcement investigations.
The legislation is inspired by the Constitutional Sheriff Movement, which argues that county sheriffs should have supremacy over federal law enforcement. They have been labeled an extremist group by the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL states that, “the central tenet of CSPOA [The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association], borrowed from the anti-government extremist sovereign citizen movement, is that the county sheriff is the ultimate authority in the county, able to halt enforcement of any federal or state law or measure they deem unconstitutional.”
The bill was defeated by a vote of 8-3.