Amid the chatter among fellow Tenth Amendment Center contributors, it came up in conversation that Delaware currently lacks a Tenth Amendment Center state chapter. This was while discussing an article in the Examiner about a bill in the Delaware House that would essentially do the opposite of the Sheriffs First model legislation advocated on the Tenth Amendment Center website.
Delaware, as far as the Tenth Amendment Center’s legislative tracking goes, shows only two pieces of legislation on record, with very different results for the two bills. HB353, the Health Care Freedom Act, was introduced March 30, 2010, and didn’t get any further than that. The bill has not been reintroduced in any subsequent legislative session. The other, SB17, legalized marijuana for medicinal use; it passed both the House and Senate by considerable majorities and was signed into law May 13, 2011. Delaware, like New Jersey, apparently can pass Tenth Amendment related legislation when their officials feel the situation calls for it. Unfortunately, that situation doesn’t seem to come along very often.
In direct contrast to the limited success of nullification legislation in Delaware, the House has introduced a bill that would effectively neuter one of the major players in the liberty movement, the county Sheriff. HB290, while tabled in committee, currently has one sponsor each in the House and Senate, along with eighteen House and four Senate cosponsors. The synopsis of the bill states, “This bill makes the Delaware law clear that the county sheriffs and their deputies do not have arrest authority. Historically, the sheriffs and deputies have not exercised arrest authority, and the Attorney General’s office has given an opinion that the sheriff’s ‘power to arrest is no greater than that shared by any citizen.’” Typical Biden family brilliance. If the legislature passes HB290, Delaware residents will find they are no longer citizens, but subjects, as the bulk of the power in law enforcement will reside in the hands of the unelected and the unaccountable. That’s just this writer’s opinion, but feel free to contact Attorney General Biden to share it if you agree.
To find your elected officials’ contact information, go to the Delaware State Legislature site, and tell your State Representative and Senator to vote against such a bill if it ever should come up for a vote. In addition, Delawareans, if you would like to get involved in helping to set up a state chapter, fill out the online form to volunteer. If you have been waiting for some other hero in your state to take that first step, consider the possibility that you are that hero, and others have been waiting for you.
Benjamin W. Mankowski, Sr. [send him email] is a blogger with the Tenth Amendment Center. He writes from New Jersey.
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