The main question in the race between Sheriff Jim Hammond and Democratic challenger Victor Miller is this:
Will you obey the law on traffic enforcement or will you agree with the Tennessee supreme court?
By David Tulis / NoogaRadio 92.7
The question is the main unanswered question in the campaign in Hamilton County because Sheriff Jim Hammond has declined to articulate his policy and his understanding of Title 55, the Tennessee transportation statue.
In practice, however, he enforces it as if it included every arrestee in the activity of transportation, even though he has been given administrative notice that only some users of the road are involved in transportation, and that others are private users exercising constitution-guaranteed rights that have always belonged to the people of Tennessee.
Sheriff Hammond’s practice awaits the reforming, cleansing power of the actual statute, in Tenn. Code Ann. 55, as controlled by U.S. Code title 49, the federal transportation law. There is something bracing, refreshing about obeying an actual law and having your deputies’ activities restrained by the scope of said law.
Double-Nickel reforms vs. ‘liberty’ propaganda
Robin Smith, a long-time Republican activist and adviser to Mr. Hammond’s campaign, argues on Mondays in the Chattanooga Times Free Press along a conservative line. In a column May 7, “Yes, it matters who governs,” she asks, “How much power do we want our government to have and how much influence do we want to give politicians, those public servants we elect to create the laws that are interpreted by our judiciary (sometimes by activist judges and sometimes by strict constructionists)? Do we want our government to do more than just assist those who cannot do for themselves or engage in functions specified in our Constitution?”
Her answer would be a banality if we did not attempt to apply it to the question in view about the Title 55 and its abuse. “Carefully examine whether the policies supported by your candidate or your party champion independence, self-reliance and liberty, or whether the policies they support empower the state to have control over you and every area of your life.”
As practice and policy now stand, Sheriff Hammond agrees with the supreme court and its numerous decisions eviscerating the rights of the people. He agrees that all travel is transportation, that all travel is under contact, carrying people or goods for hire, that all travel is commercial, that all users of the road are either common or private carriers. Because that is what the black robes have declared, most recently in rejecting an appeal in State v. Hirsch.
Mr. Hammond appears to agree.
But will Mr. Hammond, in the interest of “independence, self-reliance and liberty,” work to recognize the actual law, and courageously enforce only that, and nothing more, despite decades of abusive enforcement against African-Americans, migrants and the poor?