A family-owned daily newspaper serving Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming since 1949

Government should not try to mix oil and water in law

Feb 10, 2012 - By Gene Gustin Kinnear


I read the front page article "Reservation Police Could be Helped by New Bill" of Jan. 19 in dumbstruck awe and feel compelled to offer the


The reason that local law enforcement and separately federal law enforcement have such a struggle interpreting/enforcing each others laws are quite easily explained: You can't mix oil and water -- nor should you try.

Specifically that state and local law enforcement operate under common law (constitutional law). Remember the 10th amendment and the fact that the original states created the federal government, not the other way around. The people of the Wind River reservation claim to be sovereign yet subject to BIA and Department of Interior directives, remain under exclusive Federal Jurisdiction. The state does not.

Federal law is extra (outside) constitutional except where Congress chooses to apply it by certain specific legislation, which of course implies it can be revoked by legislation as well. Admiralty law, i.e. administrative law, is implied guilt of which the defendant must prove innocence not before a common-law court and jury of peers but by unelected, unaccountable bureaucratic and political operatives perpetuating federal power.

Common law, as enforced through elected and accountable courts, presumes innocence of the accused until the state can demonstrate through properly acquired evidence that the party violated common law and thus is guilty.

The point succinctly is the state cannot nor should not seek to mesh two diametrically opposed legal doctrines and further subject its citizens to further transgressions by the Praetorian federal government. I have long thought that turning the entire country into a reservation of sorts wasn't a particularly good idea.

Note to citizens who wish to remain under constitutional law: Remind the members of the Legislature that, they too, took an oath to uphold and obey the Constitution, and any attempt to thwart or undermine it violates that pledge and should be subject to appropriate sanction. (Yes, that is what it implies meaning recall and or criminal prosecution for treason or malfeasance of office).

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