A California journalist has called for the elected and Constitutionally-recognized position of sheriff to be abolished in The Golden State, claiming that the position is “problematic.”
“Voters should change the Constitution- protecting ourselves by writing the elected sheriff out of it,” argued Joe Mathews, the California-based editor at the Zocalo Public Square, a joint project of New America and Arizona State University.
Mathews argues that the role of sheriff is a dated position that has no place in modern California politics, as the elected officials “can’t really be fired” and are prone to corruption.
“Once elected, sheriffs in all 58 counties have power over jails and policing, and act pretty much as they please,” Mathews wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle.
However, Mathew’s opinion seems to have a more political undertone, rather than an altruistic focus on combating corruption.
“In the Trump era, some sheriffs, especially in conservative precincts, have flirted with anti-California treason, defying state laws that protect our immigrant families,” he wrote
The author went on to say that the position is a byproduct of a past time that needs to go, suggesting the same fate for the two legislative houses in the US government.
“The job’s unaccountable nature is, like our two houses of Congress, a nasty artifact of America’s history as an English colony,” Mathews wrote. “Going back to the ninth century, English sheriffs apprehended criminals, but mostly used violence to collect taxes and extort bribes. That’s why we still celebrate Robin Hood and curse the sheriff of Nottingham.”
Throughout the opinion piece, Mathews continued to focus on the issue of illegal immigration, which is largely ignored in California on an enforcement level.
“The fact that the feds are often the only people who can stop such abuses is an unspoken reason so many California sheriffs prioritize the immigration-related whims of federal authorities over fealty to state law.”
Self-described as “journalism with a head and a heart,” Zocalo Public Square’s mission is to “connect people to ideas and to each other by examining essential questions in an accessible and broad-minded spirit.”
Mathews is a known critic of military and law enforcement, has previously called for California to take back a large chunk of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton from the US government.
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