Three Strikes And Your Out

No, I am not talking about any of the teams currently playing in the MLB Playoffs. What I am talking about is the seemingly never-ending battle of Sussex County Sheriff, Jeff Christopher’s attempt to convince someone, anyone, that the words “conservator of the peace”, define the office of sheriff, and empowers it with the power to arrest people in criminal cases.

The first strike would have been the Delaware General Assembly passing HB 325, which essentially stripped the office of the sheriff of all powers, except those ordered by the Superior Court.

The second strike would have been said Superior Court’s ruling in Sheriff Christopher’s law suit against the Sussex County Council and the State of Delaware in which he challenged HB 325 as being unconstitutional, based on his believe that the words, “conservator of the peace” in the Delaware constitution, somehow defined the office of the sheriff based on the common law use of the term. Unfortunately for the Sheriff, the court did not share his opinion.

And now the third, and what should be the game ending strike, came in the form of the Delaware State Supreme Court up holding the lower courts ruling, in what I feel is a brilliant and well written decision. The decision written by Justice Holland leads the reader through the progression of Sheriff Christopher’s complaint, and then takes us on a historical trip back as far as the Magna Carta of 1215 and brings us through to the present including all of the changes made to the meaning of conservator of the peace, and the redefining of the office of the sheriff.

If any of my constant readers have followed along with my views of this on going issue, then you will see that the court’s decision is exactly what I have been saying all along. That in the absence of actual defining language within the constitution, the Legislature was free and obligated to define the office of a “constitutionally named only office”.

Here is a link to the entire decision, I encourage all to read this, and would say that anyone who reads the legal logic of this decision and still thinks that the simple term conservator of the peace, in any way gives any powers, and authority  to the office of the sheriff, well I would say they have passed beyond simply being convinced, and have passed into being fanatical.

Of course there have already been defenders of the sheriff saying that the court got it wrong, and as one would expect they are throwing the word liberal around as a reason why the court would rule as they did.

In fact, I heard the Sheriff himself interviewed on The Jarred Morris Show on Delaware 105.9 this afternoon, and as one would also expect, the Sheriff shows no sign of accepting the decision of the highest court in the state.

I have to say that I have on many occasions discussed, one might say debated, Sheriff Christopher on this issue, and have always found him to be reasonable in his arguing of his case, if in my opinion incorrect. I actually respect the Sheriff, even though I think he made the wrong argument in attempting to expand the authority of his office. However, on the Morris show he seemed to be tying himself in verbal pretzels in an attempt to make his case.

He seemed to be grasping at straws in a last effort to convince even one more person of his correctness.

Now I have used the baseball analogy of, “three strikes and you’re out”, but one does not have to wonder whether or not Sheriff Christopher considers this as being the final out of his game.

When someone has invested as much time, energy, and political capital into a single issue, it become almost impossible for them to see the reality of the situation. Add to that the almost hero status that his supporters have imparted upon him, and it must be very heady for him to walk into one of their posse meetings. That’s right I said posse meeting.

There are a couple of things that can come from this decision. The sheriff becomes more determined to run for re-election and makes this his campaign platform, and in doing so also seeks out candidates for the Legislature who would make it job one to over turn HB 325.

The second is that he decides to leave office, and becomes a permanent speaker on the constitutional sheriff speaking tour circuit, which he has spent a lot of time on recently anyway.

It will be interesting to watch his supporters attack the very system that they claim to treasure, and to cry liberal foul. Their history has been to act like petulant children when they have been unable to navigate the real world. They spend so much time in their echo chambers of posse meetings, and constitution classes, that they have no ability to discuss, or understand anything but the talking points that they have been spoon fed.

If they had been able to put their emotions aside and had logically assessed the state constitution, rather than buying into one person’s view of it, they might have seen that this was doomed from the beginning. But like so many of the hard right fanatics, they are easily swayed and convinced by rhetoric and trigger words, like constitutional, or liberal and conservative. They hear words like “rights” and “God-given”, and they simply fall in line and refuse to think for themselves.

So is this the end of the game? One would hope so, this has been nothing but disruptive, and has never been about anything but expanding the size of one government office. It has divided the Republicans of Sussex County for no good reason. There was never any benefit to the citizens of the county or the state. One would hope that Sheriff Christopher would now knuckle down and do the job of his office as defined by the General Assembly, and upheld by the courts, for the people of Sussex County. But I wouldn’t count on it.

12 Comments on "Three Strikes And Your Out"

  1. Laffter says:

    Frank- theySTILL think

    1. They can make SCOTUS hear the case
    2. The Delaware Supreme Court is corrupt and bought out
    3. They will continue with the illegal.and forbidden posse meetings
    4. He will run for office again, although I doubt on the republican ticket
    5. His two biggest supporters have major legal problems of their own , which might keep them tied up for quite some time….
    6 his other supporters are both NUTS with no credibility

    If he does run, I can’t wait to get the vote tally. The SUSSEX voter, regardless of party are tired of his antics.

    He has broken his campaign promise of not costing the citizens more money

    How much odd the kicking incident cost? Look at the agencies involved
    Georgetown police, DSP, JP courts, AGs office…..etc

    Now look at his ill- fated constitutional attempt- and the cost of
    The county council
    The county attorney
    The general assembly
    The legislature
    The superior court
    The Supreme Court
    The county administrator

    Etc etc etc

    How much has this EGO-TRIP cost US the TAX-PAYER.


  2. Laffter says:

    And then he should REPAY all those funds- so frivolously spent chasing the unobtainable

    I mean- isn’t the far- right all for tort reform as well- to prevent this crap from happening

    So come on sheriff- reimburse the sussex taxpayer for all this bullcrap

    For once, actually walk the walk, instead of talking the talk

    Must be hard to walk after one has been castrated this deeply and has a face full of humble pie.

  3. Angus Berger says:


    You have no education beyond the basic Delaware secondary education level, yet you presume to know and educate people on constitutional law.
    You presume to write of subjects that are beyond your level of education and have a small following of “useful idiots” that are progressive liberals, masking themselves as true conservatives as you do also.

    You expect to have credibility in discussing law at the Constitutional level and most people find that attitude ludicrous as do I.

    You attempt to be a blogsite “shockjock” but are just a mere caricature of a court jester. You write piece a like this, to cause yourself some modicum of self-importance and fail miserably.

  4. Harry Whittington says:

    Angus Berger, maybe Frank isn’t a Constitutional scholar, but the Judge who destroyed Sheriff Christopher’s argument is. Read the ruling, the Judge clearly illustrates that the term “conservator of the peace” does not give Sheriff Jeffy arrest powers.

    Now, it seems that Sheriff Jeffy is going to have one of his posse members try to file another case to drag this issue through the Delaware court system. This, too, will fail, and once again our court system will have to waste time and money on this nonsense.

    It makes the average native Delawarean cringe to hear Sheriff Jeffy talk about being “stripped of powers” that the office hasn’t had in over 70 years. Sheriff Jeffy’s entire roadshow is nothing but a farce, where he tries to convince people that the evil Biden’s and liberals are doing this to him, failing to mention that this has been the way it is in Delaware for decades.

    One more point, Sheriff Jeffy said he would move out of Sussex if he lost, and we should hold him to that, or run him out on a rail, as he deserves:

    “Basically, if I can’t win and get justice in the State of Delaware, then I’ll pack my family up and I’ll move out of this God forsaken place.” – Sheriff Jeff Christopher in this interview:

    Is he a man of his word, or a weasel, my guess is weasel.

  5. Laffter says:

    And you Angus have a JD in constitutional law? Oh so you and President Obama are now intellectual equals?

    There are a lot of educated fools out there- yet you stoop so low as to attack Franks level of education? Really. Wow, just shows what a creep you are .

    Frank- while I don’t agree with him and he certainly does NOT need to be defended has shown himself to have more common decency and heart than you heavier had or can imagine.

    The sheriff supporters thought themselves intellectually and morally superior to the people, the GA , THE superior court and now the Supreme Court
    And you response is to try to denigrate someone else?

    Frank had been vindicated- he was right and the sheriff and his acolytes were wrong.

    Honey, better get off that high horse, you might get a nose bleed- go lick your wounds and be careful with those PAC dollars and get some SENSE.

  6. Harry Whittington says:

    I’m listening to the radio morons claim that only Sheriff Jeffy can arrest politicians. This entire argument, like Sheriff Jeffy’s other arguments, is a farce.

    The argument that Obama is doing this all over the country and now he’s doing it in Delaware is a farce, the Sheriff in Delaware hasn’t had arrest powers in my lifetime, Obama has nothing to do with it.

    The argument that the evil liberals from NCCo are stripping Sheriff Jeffy of his powers so they can come to the beach and do drugs is a farce, our beaches have municipal police forces.

    The argument that the liberals are doing this because they’re “scared” of Sheriff Jeffy is a farce, the only people scared of Sheriff Jeffy are the people in Sussex who recognize his insanity and the insanity of his followers.

    The argument that what happened to Sheriff Jeffy is “unconstitutional” is a farce, the highest court in the state has ruled it constitutional, and very clearly and carefully tore Sheriff Jeffy’s argument apart, point by point.

    Sheriff Jeffy has been preying on transplants and old people, convincing them that they are surrounded by evil and that evil people are oppressing him, when the truth is that Sheriff Jeffy knew that there were no arrest powers when he took the job, he knew that Jane Brady, the former conservative republican Attorney General gave exactly the same opinion on the Sheriff’s powers before.

    Sheriff Jeff Christopher is a liar and an opportunist. He said he would leave if he didn’t get justice in Delaware, and we’d like him to GO.

    “Basically, if I can’t win and get justice in the State of Delaware, then I’ll pack my family up and I’ll move out of this God forsaken place.”

    Sheriff Jeffy, pack up your scummy family and MOVE back to Maryland!

  7. Dave says:

    Christopher actually did DE a favor by going to the Supreme Court. The decision eliminated any ambiguity that may have existed regarding the issue.

  8. fightingbluehen says:

    The game that Sheriff Christopher is playing requires four strikes, and since it’s unlikely that the Supreme Court of the United States will consider this case, he will now be able to continue to sucker money out of people, and the IPOD will continue championing the cause in order to recruit retired transplants who are confused.

  9. Frank Knotts says:

    Angus Berger, you forgot to mention that in my youth I abused drugs. Okay I don’t have a degree, I am not a constitutional lawyer or scholar. But, this decision is the exact argument that I have been making from the start of the whole HB 325 issue. So either I have enough understanding of the law acquired from actually reading other decisions and as much as I can find about constitutional law, or I was just lucky. Either way I was right and the sheriff is still walking around wearing a gun and a badge for no good reason.
    You and your like, might want to actually read something other than the latest 912 Patriot news letter. Try reading and listening with just a bit of intellectual honesty, rather than hiding your hate filled heart behind your shirt sleeve patriotism.
    You and the other supporters are acting just as we expected, like little children who didn’t get what they wanted for Christmas. Crying about it not being fair, that the other kids got what they wanted, and how you will never talk to your parents again.
    Sheriff Christopher is what is known as a “BIG GOVERNMENT CONSERVATIVE”, he would grow the size and cost of county government, all the while touting his conservatism.
    I have to tell you that I think he may have gone around the bend on this, I heard a part of an interview in which he said that our Founders had set up the sheriff’s departments in every state, and that Delaware was tearing it down. No where in the U.S. Constitution is there any mention of sheriffs, which means that each state is free to have or to not have them, and to define them as they see fit. We here in Delaware it would seem have decided that we want them to do the court’s bidding.
    I have actually come to believe that maybe we do need a constitutional amendment after all. Not to define the office, but to do away with it. If the office cannot do anything but process papers, then there are more efficient ways to do this, and they wouldn’t need guns and badges. Or posses!
    I am fed up with the whole, HOLIER than thou attitude of the sheriff’s supporters and or the TEA people. You use words like Liberty, and justice, you wouldn’t know Liberty if it bit you on the arse, and you couldn’t find justice with a flashlight and a map!

  10. Laffter says:

    Well put frank

    They are bitter, sore angry people…….they lost and will lose again
    Rumor is, a member of the posse may be filing another lawsuit

    Well, have at it……

    It’s pointless to even try to answer them or get inside their heads, they are a lost cause, we will all move on, and I hope that the TEA is leaving nothing. But a bitter taste in most peoples mouths

    We are seeing what extremism and idealology does- whether it’s on the left or the right. It’s wrong, wrong headed and bad for the country.

    We now see, in this microcosm, what they really are, and what their great plan was- ANARCHY. They way, or war

    Sounds just like the Taliban.

    Face it Frank- mostly we are younger, and when they are wearing diapers and trusting Obamacare to pay their bills, we can have a good laugh over a beer- at their expense of course.

    And anyway, I far father an HONEST person who struggled with substance abuse etc than some self- righteous prig who can’t possibly have a human heart.
    You past doesn’t define you……what you did after that speaks volumes – you succeeded- they never will.

    Keep blogging…….leave them on the island of mis- fit toys- it’s the only place they feel safe.

  11. Frank Knotts says:

    Laffter, as long as there is understanding, there is still hope.

  12. anon says:

    Shameful. The Sheriff is using the decision to raise money for his legal fund, using the idea of a federal suit – WHICH NO FEDERAL COURT WILL EVER HEAR – to prolong the scam.

    I guess the suckers deserve to be fleeced.

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