Could state or local officials face federal charges if they interfere with federal agents?

State and local officials have objected to federal officers in their cities. In the case of state district attorney in Philadelphia, he has said that he would arrest federal agents if they violated state law.

My understanding is that any state official who interferes with federal agents in their enforcement of federal law could be arrested and charged with federal crimes. Here is an example of a law that make it illegal to threaten or harass federal agents:


(1) forcibly assaults, resists, opposes, impedes, intimidates, or interferes with any person designated in section 1114 of this title while engaged in or on account of the performance of official duties; or

(2) forcibly assaults or intimidates any person who formerly served as a person designated in section 1114 on account of the performance of official duties during such person’s term of service,

shall, where the acts in violation of this section constitute only simple assault, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both, and where such acts involve physical contact with the victim of that assault or the intent to commit another felony, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.

Here is a similar statute for conspiracy to impede or injury an agent:

It looks like just threatening to arrest an agent could be sufficient for a violation of federal law if the arrest is related to his official duties. I see no exception for state officials.

Have state or local officials ever been prosecuted under these statutes?

What would the political consequences be for successful prosecution of a state or local official for violations of these federal laws?

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Small Government Republican.


I would love Trump to start arresting local officials that would go over so well with the American people

No. A basic principle in the US is that states cannot overrule federal law. A bloody civil war decided that over 150 years ago.

I never claimed otherwise.

There was already a thread on this.

I would love to see them try…I really really do.


I suspect that the federal response could be immediate and severe if a local official attempted to arrest a federal agent while conducting official duties. To my knowledge not even Southern segregationists were foolish enough to try that back in the 1950s and 60s.

start arresting mayors and city officials.
that will go so well in an election year.

I think the Philly DA would be under arrest by federal authorities if he attempts to arrest federal agents doing their jobs.

The federal government could not function if local officials are free to harass and threaten federal officials.

Arresting or ordering the arrest of a Federal Official for performing his duty would be a very great risk to take. That’s why it is just smoke for political purposes and will not happen.

Those jack booted thugs will show up at work and throw him in unmarked mini van. :wink:

Can a local official arrest a federal agent for enforcing federal law in Canada?

If so, I suspect Quebec would already be independent.

Please do it.

Sure if the federal agent breaks the law.

So Quebec is free to enforce its French-only language law on the local post office.

See how well that goes. . .

It would go over pretty well.
Quebec already doesn’t follow the language act.
ever been to Quebec?

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It hilarious how quickly conservatives have abandoned their supposed principles… all in the name Donald Trump, of all people.

Yes, I think there is a lot of hype.

On the other hand, all it takes is one mayor to order the local police to arrest federal agents because they are enforcing federal law in a way he objects to. The situation could get very strange very quickly.

can’t wait for Biden to start arresting mayors for not following climate change emergency order.

Quebec locks up postal workers for posting signs in English?