Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. New Jersey Sheriff Sues the New Jersey Attorney General

 

We need to see more men like Sheriff Robert Nolan taking action against the injustice of creating sanctuary states. He’s suing the New Jersey AG, who’s defying federal law in order to turn New Jersey into a sanctuary state, and Nolan wants no part of it. So Sheriff Nolan and Cape May County’s Board of Chosen Freeholders are suing in federal court to challenge their AG’s directive, barring Nolan and his officers from cooperating with ICE.

The actions of Attorney General Grewel are blatantly political. He’s using worn-out rhetoric and misleading his constituents. He points out that the law enforcement officers are supposed to enforce state criminal offenses, and the federal government is supposed to handle immigration violations. And his stated concern is insulting to the intelligence of his own officers:

Although state, county, and local law enforcement officers should assist federal immigration authorities when required to do so by law, they should also be mindful that providing assistance above and beyond those requirements threatens to blur the distinctions between state and federal actors and between federal immigration law and state criminal law. It also risks undermining the trust we have built with the public. (italics are mine)

Now the AG agenda becomes clearer. He acts as if there will be some dreadful misunderstanding between the federal and the state officers if they help each other (which they are more than willing to do). And he wouldn’t want to frighten the illegal immigrants into refusing to report crimes because ICE is doing their job. Of course, everyone will be at risk (including the illegal aliens) when criminal illegal aliens are allowed to walk free.

Since Sheriff Nolan could be removed from overseeing the jail (although it’s unlikely he’d lose his elected job) if he didn’t comply with the AG’s directive, he’s trying to do a work-around:

Because of the directive, Nolan’s officers must manually sift through data instead of using the ICE database. This creates problems when ICE’s offices are closed and time is of the essence.

For state-to-state extraditions, prisoners can be held for 7 days. Under Grewal’s directive, local police can only detain a prisoner wanted by ICE until midnight on the day they’re processed, Nolan explained.

The irony and tragedy of this situation should not be overlooked:

AG Grewel is afraid that people will not report on crimes that haven’t yet happened, but he won’t protect his own citizens because he might upset those who may or may not be citizens.

He is making the Sheriff’s department’s job more difficult by forcing them to manually locate data which may delay or prohibit arrests.

He is discouraging one of his own Sheriff’s departments from helping federal law enforcement because of a political decision, thus putting the state officers, ICE officers and the citizenry at risk.

He has put Sheriff Nolan in the position of risking his own job and reputation in order for the Sheriff to try to stop the AG and to protect the citizenry, as he is called to do.

I’ll let Sheriff Nolan have the last word:

‘There’s evil forces among us trying to just have their way for political gain,’ Nolan said, describing the entire situation as ‘absurd madness.’ ‘I never thought I’d see the day that I can’t work with a fellow law enforcement officer,’ he said.

‘[Cape May County police] don’t go out into the community. We don’t go knocking on doors in the middle of the night and ripping people apart from their families. We don’t go out into the vineyards and pull people out of the fields or go up on the boardwalk and grab people off the amusement rides,’ Nolan said. He and his officers just want to continue checking arrested people’s names against ICE’s database to ensure U.S. laws are enforced as written.

Sounds pretty insidious, doesn’t it?

Published in Policing
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There are 39 comments.

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  1. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Susan Quinn:

    [Your quote from the NJ AG:] Although state, county, and local law enforcement officers should assist federal immigration authorities when required to do so by law, they should also be mindful that providing assistance above and beyond those requirements threatens to blur the distinctions between state and federal actors and between federal immigration law and state criminal law. It also risks undermining the trust we have built with the public. (italics are mine)

    One might think that state, count, and local law enforcement officers should assist federal immigration authorities — at least when it is easy to do so — even when this is not required by law.

     

    • #1
    • October 22, 2019, at 12:16 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    That would be the right thing to do, Jerry, but it wouldn’t meet the AG’s political objectives!

    • #2
    • October 22, 2019, at 12:23 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  3. OkieSailor Member

    I wish him quick and complete success in court and may his tribe increase. 

    • #3
    • October 22, 2019, at 1:31 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  4. Rodin Member

    The Sanctuary movement is maddening on so many levels. Its justification simply never makes sense when you exchange “native born citizen” for “illegal alien” in most fact patterns. Separating families ? Criminal activity causes separation for native born citizens. DUI? Its a criminal offense for native born citizens. Identity theft? Its a criminal offense for native born citizens. Voter fraud? Its a criminal offense for native born citizens. And on and on it goes.

    • #4
    • October 22, 2019, at 4:55 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  5. Doug Watt Member

    This essay highlights why local elections are so important. Whether it is for county sheriff, county DA, or even your local school board, especially if your state government is inclined to be Progressive.

    Although the Pima County, AZ Sheriff’s Department does not ask crime victims about their immigration status they do cooperate with ICE:

    To deny that there is a human rights nexus to border security is morally wrong. Tacitly encouraging migrants to make the dangerous journey to our border and then attempt to cross into remote areas of our county is not compassionate public policy. Our deputies recover more than 100 bodies a year in the remote areas of Pima County. Migrants die due to the harsh environment or at the hands of border bandits or coyotes.

    While I support the increased attention given to the border and welcome additional federal resources, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department does not have the capacity to engage in proactive enforcement of federal immigration laws. We have approximately 500 sworn personnel to provide law enforcement services to an area of 9,200 square miles. We have budget capacity to provide to provide essential law enforcement services to the people of our County. Daily our correctional facility houses between 1800 and 1900 inmates. We have the capacity for 2100. We lack sufficient capacity to detain significant numbers of people for federal immigration violations. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department does not have the ability from either an operations or incarceration perspective to engage in active enforcement of federal immigration violations.

    The Pima County Sheriff’s Department cooperates and works collaboratively with all our federal law enforcement partners. We value these relationships. We recognize ICE Detainers and cooperate with them. We are required by State Law to verify the immigration status of persons housed in our Adult Detention Center prior to their release.

    This generally takes approximately two (2) hours to complete. This provides sufficient time for ICE to take custody of the person. Through collaboration/cooperation with ICE, we work to ensure that no person with an ICE Detainer is released into our community.

    Click on the link for the entire letter,

    • #5
    • October 22, 2019, at 5:07 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Rodin (View Comment):

    The Sanctuary movement is maddening on so many levels. Its justification simply never makes sense when you exchange “native born citizen” for “illegal alien” in most fact patterns. Separating families ? Criminal activity causes separation for native born citizens. DUI? Its a criminal offense for native born citizens. Identity theft? Its a criminal offense for native born citizens. Voter fraud? Its a criminal offense for native born citizens. And on and on it goes.

    I find the situation deeply disturbing as well. Their objective to endear the illegal aliens to the Progressive agenda is obvious. I think the only way we’ll get these issues corrected over time is to keep pushing back. Sheriff Nolan is one willing to do that.

    • #6
    • October 22, 2019, at 5:32 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    This essay highlights why local elections are so important. Whether it is for county sheriff, county DA, or even your local school board, especially if your state government is inclined to be Progressive.

    Although the Pima County, AZ Sheriff’s Department does not ask crime victims about their immigration status they do cooperate with ICE:

    To deny that there is a human rights nexus to border security is morally wrong. Tacitly encouraging migrants to make the dangerous journey to our border and then attempt to cross into remote areas of our county is not compassionate public policy. Our deputies recover more than 100 bodies a year in the remote areas of Pima County. Migrants die due to the harsh environment or at the hands of border bandits or coyotes.

    While I support the increased attention given to the border and welcome additional federal resources, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department does not have the capacity to engage in proactive enforcement of federal immigration laws. We have approximately 500 sworn personnel to provide law enforcement services to an area of 9,200 square miles. We have budget capacity to provide to provide essential law enforcement services to the people of our County. Daily our correctional facility houses between 1800 and 1900 inmates. We have the capacity for 2100. We lack sufficient capacity to detain significant numbers of people for federal immigration violations. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department does not have the ability from either an operations or incarceration perspective to engage in active enforcement of federal immigration violations.

    The Pima County Sheriff’s Department cooperates and works collaboratively with all our federal law enforcement partners. We value these relationships. We recognize ICE Detainers and cooperate with them. We are required by State Law to verify the immigration status of persons housed in our Adult Detention Center prior to their release.

    This generally takes approximately two (2) hours to complete. This provides sufficient time for ICE to take custody of the person. Through collaboration/cooperation with ICE, we work to ensure that no person with an ICE Detainer is released into our community.

    Click on the link for the entire letter,

    Very helpful information, @dougwatt. Pima County is a model for how collaborative law enforcement, especially with ICE, should be done. Impressive!

    • #7
    • October 22, 2019, at 5:34 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    It’s a shame that more people in this country don’t appreciate the reasoning behind Sheriff Napier’s closing statement in his letter:

    We fully support efforts to secure our border. There are compelling and undeniable reasons to do so. We need to move forward absent of political rhetoric on both sides and secure our border. The investment made in doing so will be returned many times over in reduced crime, lower addictions and overdoses to illegal drugs and in reduction of other societal/humanitarian costs. The Pima County Sheriff ’s Department is committed to providing the highest level of public safety services to all people of our County. We proactively attack crime problems and criminal behavior without regard to the immigration status of the criminals involved and will continue to do so.

    • #8
    • October 22, 2019, at 5:36 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. Percival Thatcher

    The AG will allow the the police to continue to check to see if those people who they apprehend are federal fugitives in some cases but not in others. Where exactly in the New Jersey Constitution is it written that the power to do so lies in the Attorney General’s office? Maybe next week the AG determines that since counterfeiting is a non-violent crime that the New Jersey cops won’t be assisting the Secret Service in rounding up funny money pushers.

    The judge ought to find for the plaintiff and have his bailiff dope-slap Grewel.

    • #9
    • October 22, 2019, at 8:42 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Percival (View Comment):

    The AG will allow the the police to continue to check to see if those people who they apprehend are federal fugitives in some cases but not in others. Where exactly in the New Jersey Constitution is it written that the power to do so lies in the Attorney General’s office? Maybe next week the AG determines that since counterfeiting is a non-violent crime that the New Jersey cops won’t be assisting the Secret Service in rounding up funny money pushers.

    The judge ought to find for the plaintiff and have his bailiff dope-slap Grewel.

    Hear! Hear!

    • #10
    • October 23, 2019, at 4:52 AM PST
    • Like
  11. The Reticulator Member

    In general, I find it healthy for states to occasionally resist the power of the feds, and for local governments (sometimes represented by sheriffs) to resist the power of feds against the states, or vice versa as in this case. Balance of powers is a principle of our form of government. 

    • #11
    • October 23, 2019, at 5:02 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Percival (View Comment):
    Where exactly in the New Jersey Constitution is it written that the power to do so lies in the Attorney General’s office?

    Nolan was quoted as saying that his governor wants to make the state a sanctuary state. I don’t know if the governor has the power to do that, either!

    • #12
    • October 23, 2019, at 7:25 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. Old Bathos Member

    Sanctuary state / sanctuary city is just a big holding pen for soon-to-be-registered Democrats.

    • #13
    • October 23, 2019, at 8:34 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  14. Vance Richards Member

    The only one worse than our governor is our AG. Other sheriffs have spoken out about this but I don’t know if they have taken any actions to stop it.

    • #14
    • October 23, 2019, at 8:47 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. Skyler Coolidge

    Ooooh, he has THREE stars!

     

    • #15
    • October 23, 2019, at 9:11 AM PST
    • Like
  16. Vance Richards Member

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Ooooh, he has THREE stars!

     

    The Bergen County sheriff has four stars, so he must be more important. These are elected positions so I really don’t know what the stars represent.

    • #16
    • October 23, 2019, at 9:45 AM PST
    • 1 like
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Ooooh, he has THREE stars!

     

    The Bergen County sheriff has four stars, so he must be more important. These are elected positions so I really don’t know what the stars represent.

    Clearly a “style” statement . . .

    • #17
    • October 23, 2019, at 10:06 AM PST
    • Like
  18. Full Size Tabby Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    In general, I find it healthy for states to occasionally resist the power of the feds, and for local governments (sometimes represented by sheriffs) to resist the power of feds against the states, or vice versa as in this case. Balance of powers is a principle of our form of government.

    I’m not a fan of the blanket refusal to cooperate. But, since the precedent has been established in immigration, I am pleased that it is being extended to defend citizens’ Constitutional rights (the right to keep and bear arms in particular).

    An unfortunate consequence of widespread “sanctuary” movements though is continued diminution of the respect for the “rule of law.” More and more, whether or not a person becomes subject to legal proceedings depends on the whims of particular individual enforcers, rather than on the law itself.

    • #18
    • October 23, 2019, at 10:36 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  19. TGR9898 Coolidge

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Sanctuary state / sanctuary city is just a big holding pen for soon-to-be-registered Democrats.

    You don’t think they aren’t already Democrat voters? That’s adorable! ;)

    • #19
    • October 23, 2019, at 11:04 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  20. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Ooooh, he has THREE stars!

     

    The Bergen County sheriff has four stars, so he must be more important. These are elected positions so I really don’t know what the stars represent.

    Clearly a “style” statement . . .

    I know that this started with a bit of levity (or at least I hope that it was just levity). But now it seems to be descending to mocking police leaders.

    My reaction to the comments is: Really? You can’t imagine what stars would represent on a uniform?

    I recommend that one of you answer this question, in a serious way. It should take about 3 seconds.

    • #20
    • October 23, 2019, at 11:11 AM PST
    • Like
  21. Skyler Coolidge

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    But now it seems to be descending to mocking police leaders.

    No, it absolutely started with contemptuous mockery.

    • #21
    • October 23, 2019, at 12:02 PM PST
    • Like
  22. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    OK. Mockery of police is reprehensible, in my opinion.

    The reason for the stars is obvious. Police have quasi-military uniforms, including rank insignia. These make rank clear at a glance, so that when a bunch of cops are standing together, you can immediately tell who is in charge. Stars are commonly used for this purpose, as they are used to indicate rank among generals and admirals in the military. I think that the details vary from force to force.

    The uniforms are useful, too, so that you can immediately identify the cops in a mixed group of cops and civilians.

    • #22
    • October 23, 2019, at 1:02 PM PST
    • 1 like
  23. Skyler Coolidge

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    OK. Mockery of police is reprehensible, in my opinion.

    The reason for the stars is obvious. Police have quasi-military uniforms, including rank insignia. These make rank clear at a glance, so that when a bunch of cops are standing together, you can immediately tell who is in charge. Stars are commonly used for this purpose, as they are used to indicate rank among generals and admirals in the military. I think that the details vary from force to force.

    The uniforms are useful, too, so that you can immediately identify the cops in a mixed group of cops and civilians.

    Oh, that’s just too much.

    1.  Mockery of police is all-American.
    2. Three stars is indeed quasi-military, which is the point of the mockery. A three-star general or admiral is a quite important person. I don’t think the police chief of a small area, or even a large city, comes close to that level.

    Remember, the military exists to protect the people and the Constitution. The police exist to control the people. The primary purpose of the police is to protect criminals from us.

    • #23
    • October 23, 2019, at 2:52 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  24. Jason Obermeyer Member

    Without looking at the lawsuit in detail, I would discourage conservatives from supporting this lawsuit or ones like it instinctively. The relationship between local governments and the state is not similar to the relationship between states and the federal government. This follows from the fact that the constitution endows two entities with sovereignty, states and the federal government: not cities, not counties, not library districts. 

    Maybe the AG has the power to order the sheriff around in such a way, maybe he doesn’t. But that is an issue for state law in state court. 

    The question from the “Rule of Law” perspective starts with who gets to make the decision in question. For better or worse, the people of New Jersey have given that power to the current AG.

    I feel the same way about this as I feel with the administrative state “resistance” against Trump. It really isn’t a question of whether the resisters are right or wrong, it simply isn’t their place to make that decision. 

    • #24
    • October 23, 2019, at 5:08 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  25. Full Size Tabby Member

    Jason Obermeyer (View Comment):

    The question from the “Rule of Law” perspective starts with who gets to make the decision in question. For better or worse, the people of New Jersey have given that power to the current AG.

     

    Seems to assume facts not in evidence. It seems part of the issue might be whether the state Attorney General has the authority to issue the directive that he issued.

    • #25
    • October 23, 2019, at 7:09 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  26. Skyler Coolidge

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Jason Obermeyer (View Comment):

    The question from the “Rule of Law” perspective starts with who gets to make the decision in question. For better or worse, the people of New Jersey have given that power to the current AG.

     

    Seems to assume facts not in evidence. It seems part of the issue might be whether the state Attorney General has the authority to issue the directive that he issued.

    My recollection is that the feds may not require the states to enforce their laws or take actions to support their policies. The feds can require certain behaviors as a condition for redistribution of the tax money taken from the state. If the state is wiling to tolerate that consequence, my understanding is that they are perfectly free to not follow a law requiring them to turn over inmates to ICE. I’m sure it’s going to be litigated again.

    So, I think the Sheriff is on very iffy ground. Or should I say, sher-iffy ground?

    • #26
    • October 23, 2019, at 7:19 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  27. Jason Obermeyer Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Jason Obermeyer (View Comment):

    The question from the “Rule of Law” perspective starts with who gets to make the decision in question. For better or worse, the people of New Jersey have given that power to the current AG.

     

    Seems to assume facts not in evidence. It seems part of the issue might be whether the state Attorney General has the authority to issue the directive that he issued.

    As I said above the quoted section:

    “Maybe the AG has the power to order the sheriff around in such a way, maybe he doesn’t. But that is an issue for state law in state court.”

    The current lawsuit is in federal district court. Unless the Sheriff’s legal team can come up with an innovative argument as to why the question of the relative powers of the local sheriff and the state AG is to be decided under federal and not New Jersey law (i.e. the state whose law actually creates both positions), my guess is the lawsuit gets dismissed on 11th Amendment Sovereign Immunity grounds. The Sheriff would then be welcome to refile in New Jersey state court.

    It is entirely possible that the Sheriff is right, but I would be shocked if some state-level officials didn’t have a certain amount of power over the local Sheriff even though he is separately elected. An example of this comes from Florida, where the people of Broward county (my former home) – in there infinite wisdom – elected Scott “Provider of Amazing Leadership” Israel sheriff. He was suspended by the governor and recently removed by the state senate. 

    • #27
    • October 23, 2019, at 7:54 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. The Reticulator Member

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Jason Obermeyer (View Comment):

    The question from the “Rule of Law” perspective starts with who gets to make the decision in question. For better or worse, the people of New Jersey have given that power to the current AG.

     

    Seems to assume facts not in evidence. It seems part of the issue might be whether the state Attorney General has the authority to issue the directive that he issued.

    My recollection is that the feds may not require the states to enforce their laws or take actions to support their policies. The feds can require certain behaviors as a condition for redistribution of the tax money taken from the state. If the state is wiling to tolerate that consequence, my understanding is that they are perfectly free to not follow a law requiring them to turn over inmates to ICE. I’m sure it’s going to be litigated again.

    So, I think the Sheriff is on very iffy ground. Or should I say, sher-iffy ground?

    Yeah, follow the money to see who really has the power. But the sheriff is usually elected by the people of his county, so he may have some political power to resist, no matter how iffy the legal ground is. I’ve known of other cases where county sheriffs resist their state governments in order to maintain political viability, even though they may be on shaky grounds, legally. State governments don’t always find it politic to come down hard on them, even though they might have some right to do so. It’s best in our system of government that legal allegiances and loyalties are not cut and dried. The power of a sheriff to resist the state or the feds is not the same as the legal right to resist, nor should it be.

    • #28
    • October 23, 2019, at 7:55 PM PST
    • 1 like
  29. Jason Obermeyer Member

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Jason Obermeyer (View Comment):

    The question from the “Rule of Law” perspective starts with who gets to make the decision in question. For better or worse, the people of New Jersey have given that power to the current AG.

     

    Seems to assume facts not in evidence. It seems part of the issue might be whether the state Attorney General has the authority to issue the directive that he issued.

    My recollection is that the feds may not require the states to enforce their laws or take actions to support their policies. The feds can require certain behaviors as a condition for redistribution of the tax money taken from the state. If the state is wiling to tolerate that consequence, my understanding is that they are perfectly free to not follow a law requiring them to turn over inmates to ICE. I’m sure it’s going to be litigated again.

    So, I think the Sheriff is on very iffy ground. Or should I say, sher-iffy ground?

    Or as Scalia colorfully put it, the federal government can’t dragoon state officials. On the other hand, I think the policy of releasing arrestees specifically to allow them to evade being taken into custody by ICE may step over the line from “refusing to help” to active obstruction. 

    • #29
    • October 23, 2019, at 7:59 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  30. The Reticulator Member

    Jason Obermeyer (View Comment):
    The relationship between local governments and the state is not similar to the relationship between states and the federal government. This follows from the fact that the constitution endows two entities with sovereignty, states and the federal government: not cities, not counties, not library districts. 

    I would say the relationship does have some similarities in practical terms, but it certainly isn’t the same relationship as the federal-state relationship is under the federal constitution.

    Our federal government was once a creature (creation) of the states, back when there were only 13 states. That gradually changed, as more states were added to the union. They were intended to be added at the same level as the original states, and not just as colonial provinces of the original Union. But in practical terms the new states were creatures of the federal government, which became more obvious with the western states with (for example) all their federally-owned land. This did a lot to change the relationship between states and federal government all around.

    But I don’t think any of the states were creatures of their counties or parishes, even if you go back to the days before the states were states. Counties were always creatures of the states, although they have tended not be to such arbitrary creatures as Russian oblasts, which tend to get reorganized and have their boundaries redrawn as the Russian central governments have seen fit. That arbitrariness tends to keep the oblasts from getting uppity and providing a basis for the people to resist the central government.

    In our system, I think it’s healthy when the federal government, states, cities, counties, townships, and Indian reservations all are in a state of jealous attention to their own prerogatives. It provides some space in which the people can find allies to protect their own rights and freedoms.

    • #30
    • October 23, 2019, at 8:13 PM PST
    • 2 likes
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