U.S. District Judge: Colorado Sheriffs Lack Standing to Join Gun Lawsuit

By:  Bob Adelmann
U.S. District Judge: Colorado Sheriffs Lack Standing to Join Gun Lawsuit

In an arbitrary ruling, a U.S. district judge has determined that 54 Colorado county sheriffs have no standing to join a lawsuit stating that two recent state laws violated the Second and 14th Amendments.

Back in May of 2013, 54 Colorado county sheriffs and 21 other parties filed a lawsuit complaining that two recent laws enacted by the Colorado legislature violated the Second and 14th Amendments. Without ruling on those complaints, Chief Judge Marcia Kreiger of the U.S. District Court of Colorado declared that the sheriffs lacked legal standing to bring the lawsuit.  

Michael Schaus, the associate editor for Townhall.com, complained that the judge missed the point: “The sheriffs were not suing over fear that the laws would infringe on their “individual” rights. They were suing because of their fear that the law would infringe on the individual rights of the citizens they swore to uphold and defend.... Not only are they being charged with implementing law, but they are held accountable by the individuals they serve.”

He added, "[It’s] strange to think that the men and women who will be charged with enforcing these gun laws have no standing to object to them in their official office."

Kreiger is not slamming the door on the sheriffs; they can rejoin the lawsuit as individuals in the next 14 days if they want to. In her opinion, Kreiger wrote:

If individual Sheriffs wish to protect individual rights or interests they may do so. In the [present complaint], however, the Sheriffs have confused their individual rights and interests with those of the county Sheriff’s Office. They each assert that they have a stake in the outcome of this litigation because ... they desire to adhere to their oath of office ... [but to do so] would compromise the performance of their office.

This, she claimed, is a “personal” claim but “no individual claims have been asserted in the [complaint].” She expounded her reasoning:

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