Re "Sheriffs don't get to pick laws they will enforce" (Editorials, Aug. 25): As the former sheriff of Marin County, I read your editorial with a deep sense of professional interest. There are more than 3,000 elected county sheriffs in the United States. I found it distasteful that the headline of this editorial made it look like all 3,000 were in concert with the views expressed by a very small minority.
You are correct that every sheriff in independently elected and is accountable to both his or her constituents and the Constitution of the United States that we swore to uphold and defend. Sheriffs do enjoy a bully pulpit, but it must be used judiciously for and in the interest of their county and their country.
A sheriff, like the U.S. attorney general, doesnt write the laws but is sworn to uphold them fairly and equitably across the board for all people regardless of personal beliefs. When any elected official takes a stand, he or she should do it with thoughtfulness and extreme care. A sheriff, like all elected officials, knows that unfair or apparently unjust laws should be corrected by the system that created them. Our state and national legislative bodies are the appropriate route to correct any and all inequities of law.
I agree with your opinion that sheriffs should not show disdain for duly adopted legislation, and find the actions the small group you identified professionally disappointing. Please be careful to not include all 3,000 elected sheriffs when you take exception to the actions or position of a very small minority. -- G. Albert Howenstein Jr., Elk Grove