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A Message to Sheriffs, Police, and Other Law Enforcement Officials

Written by Michael Anthony Peroutka

(Almost all of us know someone who is in law enforcement -- whether it’s someone in our family, neighborhood, church, etc. The message below can used as written or be tailored and sent or given to law enforcement folks you know.  Feel free to remove the first two paragraphs and make it your own message.)

Hello, my name is Michael Anthony Peroutka.  I’m an attorney in the State of Maryland, a former Anne Arundel County Councilman, and a co-founder of the Institute on the Constitution. 

Today I have the privilege of addressing you on behalf of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, the Institute on the Constitution, and RE-Open Maryland


The Constitution of Maryland, Article 44 states, “That the provisions of the Constitution of the United States, and of this State, apply, as well in time of war, as in time of peace; and any departure therefrom, under the plea of necessity, or any other plea, is subversive of good government, and tends to anarchy and despotism.”

Now, there are many who are saying that this current Covid-19 crisis makes it necessary to suspend the exercise of God-given, constitutionally protected rights; including the freedom to practice religion, freedom of assembly and association as well as the freedom to move about without molestation. But this is precisely what Article 44 addresses and forbids. 

In point of fact, no governor, in any state, has the authority to suspend the Constitution.  And no pretended “Emergency Powers” legislation can give it to him because the legislature cannot give the Governor an authority that they, themselves, do not have.

And any attempt for a Governor to suspend Constitutional rights is an act of lawlessness and a violation of his/her oath of office.

When you took your oath of office, as a Sheriff, police, or other law enforcement official, you swore obedience and fidelity to the United States Constitution and the Constitution of your state.  You solemnly declared THAT YOU WOULD ALWAYS FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTION.  You did not swear allegiance to a mayor or a governor or a judge or a president.

Right now, I’m encouraging you to remember that solemn promise and to live up to its terms.

Because right now, as your country and your state are in peril, it is especially crucial that you rededicate yourself to this noble calling and duty.

Your fidelity to your oath and to the rule of law requires you to abstain from enforcing any edict or order from a Governor, or any executive, which lacks constitutional authority.

Moreover, your duty requires that you resist such edicts and orders and that you act in such a manner as to shelter and protect the citizenry from all acts of lawlessness, even and especially when they originate from civil authorities.


For additional information, please visit; and Re-open Maryland.