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Today’s quotable

Monday, Mar 20, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From the must-read Tribune story on how county sheriffs here have dramatically shifted positions on constitutional matters over the past ten years

Among those who issued the letter stating the Illinois law violated the Second Amendment was DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick, who faced intense criticism from county Democrats, including County Board Chair Deb Conroy, over the refusal to enforce the law. […]

Mendrick in late January issued a joint statement with [DuPage County Board Chair Deb Conroy] and State’s Attorney Bob Berlin, a Republican, that acknowledged door-to-door checks were not part of the law and that the sheriff “was committed to enforcing all state and local laws.”

But Mendrick later denied backing down. Speaking at a Wayne Township Republican Organization meeting at a Carol Stream restaurant on Feb. 9, he said language specifically dealing with his enforcement of the law was removed from the statement at his insistence before he agreed to sign it.

“The gun law verbiage was taken out to satisfy me that I wasn’t going to pledge to this gun law,” he said, later lashing out at the law as “garbage” and an example of Democratic ideology and “a furtherance of their socialist agenda.”

“This is a pattern, people. This is a pattern of taking away your freedom. It’s a pattern toward socialism. It’s a pattern of taking away everything that you know. Look at the economy. Look at what’s going on in your schools. Look what’s going on in law enforcement. I mean, is there a realm I am missing that they didn’t touch? Your entire way of life is changing,” Mendrick said to an audience of about 35 people.

“I don’t care if the Democrats hate me and the media hates me. Do you really think I’m gonna get their votes anyway? I mean, really. And this is the Republican problem. A lot will be, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry. Let me join with …’” he told the GOP group. “No. Absolutely not. Hold firm. Do your job. Be a Republican. And don’t waver to these people just because they’re crying and screaming at you.”

Go read the whole thing.

* From DuPage County Board Chair Deb Conroy…

It is very sad that some of those we elect to protect us have chosen inflationary political rhetoric over the safety of our communities. The Supreme Court will decide on the constitutionality of the law, not far right Sheriffs.

We agreed to say nothing more in the press about this issue and focus on the work of the county. It appears the Sheriff is more interested in politics and being on Fox News than doing his job.


  1. - Hippo - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:15 am:

    How is this different than a military officer’s duty to disobey an unlawful command? The officer is not required to, or allowed to, wait for a court to tell him the order was unlawful.

  2. - NIU Grad - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:17 am:

    The big question: What statewide office is he looking to run for and lose by 20%?

  3. - Norseman - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:21 am:

    Let’s hope the messages get sent by voters sooner than a state race. These are sheriffs in name only.

  4. - JS Mill - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:23 am:

    Time for the legislature to step in and take action. They need to enact very clear and decisive laws with penalties for failure to enforce the laws of the state.

  5. - vern - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:24 am:

    === “I don’t care if the Democrats hate me and the media hates me. Do you really think I’m gonna get their votes anyway? ===

    Refusing to seek Democratic votes is an odd strategy in a county that regularly votes for Democrats. Illinois Republicans should consider trying to win elections instead of trying to lose them.

  6. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:24 am:

    ===How is this different than a military officer’s duty to disobey an unlawful command?===

    They take a much different oath.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:25 am:

    === wait for a court to tell him the order was unlawful.===

    Unless otherwise ruled, any bill passed and signed is the law.

    There’s no confusion. It’s the law.

    Deciding as sheriffs have that they are the arbiters is not the job of any sheriff.

  8. - Henry Francis - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:29 am:

    Where does the sheriff stand on the 4th amendment? Is he willing to go to these lengths to ensure the people in his county don’t have their 4th amendment rights infringed upon by his office? How about habeas corpus?

  9. - Friendly Bob Adams - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:29 am:

    I live in DuPage County and have to say it’s very disappointing that a character like this serves as our sheriff. Who decided it would be a good idea for him to run unopposed?

  10. - Norseman - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:31 am:

    I believe it would be to hard to craft a law to penalize for lack of enforcement because of the need to address the discretion inherently involved in law enforcement.

    I still say that a bill should be introduced to take away the sheriff’s and county’s immunity if he fails to act on complaints. Money talks and millions of dollars talk loudly.

  11. - Torco Sign - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:33 am:

    Opposing the enforcement of laws to own the libs. Amazing. I hope this sheriff and others like him know they’ve essentially become Brick from Anchorman yelling, “Socialism” instead of “loud noises.” People laugh at that character for being a buffoon, but good luck with that.

  12. - DuPage - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:33 am:

    Similar to cities, counties, and states refusing to enforce federal immigration laws that say local sheriffs are to turn over undocumented criminals to INS.

  13. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:36 am:

    The point of no return was during cannabis legalization. The sheriffs and law enforcement in general were being treated as if they were part of the legislature, and were allowed an overdue influence on the crafting of the law. Once the sheriffs had a taste of influence and control over the legislative branch of government, they kept pushing and decided they wanted the judicial branch as well.

    The sheriffs are responsible for their behavior, but the legislature bears some responsibility for not understanding the power grab the sheriffs were attempting a few years ago and pushing back.

    On a positive note, some of these sheriffs are so jingoistic right now, it would probably be easy to bait some of them into making an arrest for burning a flag(despite such an arrest being unconstitutional as determined by the courts).

  14. - Perrid - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:39 am:

    Hippo, if a soldiers disobeys an order thinking it was unlawful and they are incorrect, they can be court-martialed and put in prison for a very long time. If the sheriff wants the power to veto state laws he disagrees with, he should have to bear the risk and responsibility as well. He won’t, but he should.

  15. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:45 am:

    === enforce federal immigration laws that say local sheriffs are to turn over ===

    Which federal mandate are you referring to, because I don’t think it exists.

  16. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:45 am:

    When I look at freedoms being taken away, the Republicans (bodily autonomy, voting, speech, association, education, movement, workers’ rights, innocent until proven guilty, and more) are far ahead of the Democrats (guns).

  17. - DuPage - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:46 am:

    If they don’t like the sheriff’s attitude, they should vote him out the next election.

  18. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:46 am:

    ===they should vote him out===

    Thanks, Einstein.

  19. - Demoralized - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:50 am:

    ==The Supreme Court will decide on the constitutionality of the law==

    That’s right and should be the end of the discussion. Unless they have on black robes their “opinions” are irrelevant. The law is the law. Enforce it.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:52 am:

    To enforcement, to bring it back…

    Do these sheriffs see their “recognition” of the powers of the legislature and governor as arbitrary too?

    Third world police dictate local authority

  21. - H-W - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:52 am:

    Clearly the writings of a mad man. Serious lunacy there.

    My entire way of life is not changing. But I am being asked directly by law enforcement to live in fear of mass shootings and mass murders, because these lawmen reject democracy, some of which have significant mental health issues (superiority complexes, self aggrandizement, narcissism, etc.), and all of whom believe their commitment to their fraternity (ISA) is justification for not abiding by the same laws as citizens.

    Ten-twenty years ago, these sheriffs and there deputies had to explain to local yahoo militia members that they were not then end-all authority; the courts were. Now, these lawmen have become the vigilantes they used to protect citizens from.

    I am willing to bet these lawmen are opposed because they have arsenals at home that are required to be registered, and they do not want to comply with the law.

    To hell with any sheriff who says he is the law, and the law is his to define. I pray they are each sued for complicity in felonious acts and murder.

  22. - Demoralized - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 9:53 am:

    ==Do your job.==

    Take your own advice Sheriff.

    ==Be a Republican==

    I wasn’t aware that being either a Republican or Democrat should affect how you enforce the law.

  23. - Roman - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 10:02 am:

    == I believe it would be to hard to craft a law to penalize for lack of enforcement ==

    There’s always the BIMP. Sheriffs get a financial stipend from the state because they are enforcing state laws. If they choose not to enforce state laws, why give them a stipend? Strike it from the budget.

  24. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 10:05 am:

    ===Strike it from the budget.===

    It’s unconstitutional to alter an elected official’s compensation during their term of office.

  25. - Nathan H - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 10:05 am:

    ==If they don’t like the sheriff’s attitude, they should vote him out the next election.==

    Sadly, Mendrick was just reelected in November and he ran unopposed. This is what happens when a party doesn’t put somebody else up for an office. You are ensured to lose it.

  26. - Huh? - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 10:17 am:

    What the sheriffs are saying is they won’t enforce any law they don’t like. They are using their bubble gum machine law license to declare the laws as unconstitutional.

  27. - Huh? - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 10:22 am:

    “Strike it from the budget.”

    While it may be unconstitutional to reduce an elected officials salary, there is nothing unconstitutional about reducing an agency budget to zero.

  28. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 10:35 am:

    ===“a furtherance of their socialist agenda.”===

    Sheriff is an elected office which means we routinely get the kind of Sheriffs a community deserves. I’ve spent the last several months horrified at how many of these people who rely on winning a popular election to carry a gun and badge think that they’re experts on Constitutional law when they clearly aren’t, and historically violate quite a few of the amendments in the Bill of Rights on a regular and routine basis.

    None of these guys are like “We will always obtain a warrant before searching something, even if Deputy Billy Bob Barelyged believes he has probable cause” but all of these guys are incredibly concerned about the 2nd Amendment which isn’t an Amendment that they are known for routinely violating or get sued for violating or screw up a criminal case for violating.

    Nevermind what I imagine might happen if we look at arrest rates and pull over rates by race/ethnicity in their departments.

    A Sheriff weighing in on economic theory — wow, that’s just something they should avoid. A public official suggesting that registering a fire arm is a socialist agenda? Can this wack-a-mole even define socialism? Does he even understand that his paycheck and budget are due to the public ownership of his office? Refusing to follow the law he is paid to enforce is literally James Mendrick’s socialist agenda.

    This guy really drives home that we need to add an education requirement to run for Sheriff in this state since he so freely opines on matters he doesn’t seem to understand. Though James Mendrick has served the people of DuPage County for decades now. Maybe he’s just demented or denial. Perhaps he should be evaluated before he’s allowed to return to duty.

  29. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 10:40 am:

    ===Similar to cities, counties, and states refusing to enforce federal immigration laws that say local sheriffs are to turn over undocumented criminals to INS.===

    Most refusal revolves around “administratively-issued warrants” … most of those refusing state they’ll enforce “judicially-issued warrants” … .

    What’s the difference? Check out the late 1990s congressional hearings on “abuses” within the IRS. The differences, particularly in implementation and consequences, are staggering.

  30. - Bruce( no not him) - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 10:42 am:

    So, is the refusal to enforce laws, against the law?
    If not, why not?

  31. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 10:48 am:

    “It’s a pattern of taking away everything that you know.”

    Right wingers and Republicans been pushing this paranoia for decades. Why wasn’t everything taken away years ago?

  32. - Jerry - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 10:51 am:

    Telling parents how to raise their children (so that it aligns with the Government): Socialism

    Banning books the Government disagrees with: Socialism

  33. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 10:57 am:

    DuPage Democrats win elections in spite of themselves. It was political malpractice to let any Republican run unopposed countywide

  34. - New Day - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 11:10 am:

    “Do your job. Be a Republican.”

    I’m quite confident that being a Republican is not part of the job he was elected to do.

  35. - Big Dipper - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 11:26 am:

    ==Unless they have on black robes their “opinions” are irrelevant.–

    Most of them are not even lawyers, let alone judges. They have no more legal knowledge than the crazy uncle on FaceBook.

  36. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 11:40 am:

    Since the sheriff is a true Republican he probably doesn’t know or remember that that Rino Henry Hyde voted for the original assault weapon ban stating how could he be pro life and pro assault weapons? I wish these new holier than thou republicans would just go away. The Birchers were more reasonable

  37. - Tim - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 12:26 pm:

    === there is nothing unconstitutional about reducing an agency budget to zero. ===

    True, but then you’re “defunding the police” and we know how well that goes over.

    DuPage Dems absolutely have to field a candidate for sheriff next time.

  38. - H-W - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 12:41 pm:

    Taking money away from law enforcement agencies, and/or not paying sheriffs and their deputies through state funds, are not the answers to this problem. Both strategies involve taking one big problem, and making it enormous.

    The solution comes with holding law enforcement accountable to the laws they are supposed (believed) to be responsible for enforcing.

    In October, the State Police could ask each sheriff, under oath, if they have a weapon in their possession that is banned by law (assuming the law passes through the courts).

    If under law, such sheriffs indicate that (a) they possess such a weapon, and (b) they have not registered such weapon, then any such sheriff and deputy sheriff would be in serious violation of state law, and subject to having their state certification for serving as sheriff denied.

    If sheriffs and deputies are in compliance with the law, but after Oct. refuse to arrest or charge others found to not be in compliance, then they are complicit in a crime of owning and possessing illegal weapons, and should be charged for knowingly allowing others to violate the law.

    There are certainly ways to hold law enforcement officials accountable to the law, without creating a bigger problem. Just apply the law as it is written. Ask sheriffs under oath if they are violating the laws of the state, and arrest them if they are doing so.

    I believe that is how most citizens will be processed. Just apply the law. To use an old say, “no one is above the law, not even the police or the president.”

  39. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 1:05 pm:

    ===, “no one is above the law, not even the police or the president.” ===

    They seriously believe that they are more powerful than the president, sooo.

  40. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Mar 20, 23 @ 3:31 pm:

    Tryants do not believe anyone is above them…that’s what makes them dangerous tyrants.

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