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The Rule of Law

This letter courtesy of Dennis Fox, resident of Sheridan, WY.

Opinions expressed by our writers are their own, and may not necessarily be those of the Sheridan County Republican Party.

  One of America’s most essential founding principles is the “Rule of Law.” It replaced the capricious “Rule of Men” used by monarchs and tyrants. The rule of law is predictable and certain. The rule of men (people) is arbitrary and capricious.

  Our history of precedent and great success is built upon our adherence to written law.

  That’s why the trial of the four Sheridan County commissioners is so important and has state-wide impact. Last summer’s vacancy on the Board invoked the law of vacancy replacement. It clearly spells out the procedures to follow.

  The County Republican Party followed the law exactly and provided 3 qualified nominees for the Board to choose from. The four commissioners then failed to follow the law. They failed to select one of the three, as the law clearly specifies. They failed to do their jobs and it had to go to a judge to fill the vacancy.

  Worse yet, public statements and actions by the four commissioners suggest they pre-planned to fail at selecting a replacement. Planning to not follow the law (also known as breaking the law) is bad enough, but if all four commissioners colluded to circumvent the law…we have a conspiracy.

  Instead of following the unambiguous statute, one commissioner stated he chose to act on “his conscious” and constituent input. Another said she “felt” none were qualified. The law makes no mention of them acting as judges of qualification. The law doesn’t say “trust your feelings.” The law says commissioners “shall select one of the three.”

  In fact, the 95-member Republican Central Committee had already qualified the nominees. All the commissioners had to do was pick one of the three. They failed to do that. That’s the only reason it went to a judge. As per the statute, all four county commissioners “failed” to perform their duties. So there is absolutely no question that the four commissioners failed to do their jobs, the only question is: Did they pre-plan to fail? Did they conspire to circumvent the law?

  If we break from America’s long-standing tradition of following the rule of law, and revert to the ancient rule of men’s “whim”, we risk a future of arbitrary decisions by elected officials. Decisions based on feelings or ones conscious are unpredictable. That’s why America uses a written law. It’s clear and certain. Let’s not follow the rest of the country down the ruinous road of lawlessness.

  Let’s stand by the rule of law and demand that our elected officials follow it. The next time you have an issue before the commission, would you rather they rule based on the law…or how they’re feeling that day?

Dennis Fox

Republished from The Sheridan Press

10 February 2024

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