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I am getting the general feeling from my fellow ATS members, that this event has a short window of opportunity to become overblown or it will evolve into a stalemate or devolve into an impossible logistical nightmare.
I am also getting the general feeling that if things do boil over, that my fellow ATS members feel the Feds will win the battle!
Finally I am getting the general feeling from my fellow ATS members that if there is a battle and the Feds do win, that the rest of the USA will do nothing about that and the Bundy Ranch Massacre will simply pass into American History as a footnote akin to Waco and Ruby Ridge etc!
all emphases mine
The question is: what does "public" mean? Do the ranchers have an established property right — a grazing right — just as both state and common law across the West acknowledge private citizens may have legitimate mining or water or right-of-way claims on that land, established both through paperwork "filings" and through years of habit and custom and adverse possession, which cannot be overturned by mere bureaucratic whim?
Or does the federal government — as Judge Johnnie Rawlinson has brazenly asserted in the similar case aimed at driving Clark County cattle rancher Cliven Bundy off his Mesquite Allotment — literally own all this land, with "plenary" rights to kick anybody off, any time they please?
Defiant, Cliff Gardner declares he can find "no authority whatsoever" for the federal government to "hold and manage lands within an admitted State" aside from the power granted in Article I Section 8 [of the U. S. Constitution], to purchase specific parcels "by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful Buildings," which would hardly seem to apply to the millions of acres of western grazing land.
All Americans should be concerned, Gardner warns in the prepared summary, that "more than a third of the land surface of the United States of America is now being policed under Article IV jurisdiction" — never intended for use within the 50 states, and under which the courts will not acknowledge any obligation to grant accused citizens their constitutional rights, including their "sixth amendment right to be informed of the nature and cause of a prosecution ... in order that they may prepare a defense."
What Cliff Gardner is insisting on is that - even if we agree the federals are to "administer" all these lands, punishing "trespassers" like Cliven Bundy and Cliff Gardner — we must still ask under what jurisdiction their courts and other officers are to operate as they do so: under Article III of the Constitution, which establishes the Supreme Court "and such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish" ... in which case defendants like Cliff Gardner have a right to a trial by a jury of their peers, a right to due process and equal protection — all the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights?
Or is the federal jurisdiction over these lands in fact a "territorial" jurisdiction, as established under Article IV of the Constitution, which would appear to set no such due-process restrictions on the power of Congress to "dispose of and make all Needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State."
Cliff Gardner keeps trying to get Judge McKibben to confirm that. But for some curious reason, whenever Gardner makes a court filing asking for just such a confirmation of his due process rights, Judge McKibben — he just lay low and don't say nothin'.
Motion denied without comment. Motion denied without comment. Motion denied without comment.
In fact, range biologist Vern Bostic demonstrated decades ago that desert tortoises actually do better on range which is being grazed by cattle -- and managed by ranchers who improve the range for wildlife as well as their own stock with water tanks and the like. (Bundy told me Monday the BLM has also ordered him to remove all his "improvements" from the range, which would include water tanks and the lines that feed them from the occasional local spring.)
But what's real-world, empirical evidence provided by local yokels with calloused hands and funny western drawls, to "experts" who've got the proper college degrees?
"The government" doesn't "OWN" anything. We do. We are the government. Well it's supposed to be a government for the people and by the people. That has clearly changed and your post proves it. You have been fully indoctrinated my friend.
reply to post by Logarock
Bundy does not contest the legitimacy of the federal government’s existence. He looks right to the constitution for a solution to his problem, and fails to find one. If a government has a right to exist, it has a right to own property, and do with it as it sees fit.