The Irony of Cliven Bundy

Source: The Atlantic Monthly –  The Irony of Cliven Bundy’s Unconstitutional Stand

“I abide by all of Nevada state laws. But I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing.” Ironically, this position directly contradicts Article 1, Section 2 of the Nevada Constitution:

All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the people; and they have the right to alter or reform the same whenever the public good may require it. But the Paramount Allegiance of every citizen is due to the Federal Government in the exercise of all its Constitutional powers as the same have been or may be defined by the Supreme Court of the United States; and no power exists in the people of this or any other State of the Federal Union to dissolve their connection therewith or perform any act tending to impair, subvert, or resist the Supreme Authority of the government of the United States. The Constitution of the United States confers full power on the Federal Government to maintain and Perpetuate its existence, and whensoever any portion of the States, or people thereof attempt to secede from the Federal Union, or forcibly resist the Execution of its laws, the Federal Government may, by warrant of the Constitution, employ armed force in compelling obedience to its Authority.

Somewhat ironic is it not that Bundy is claiming he abides by the Nevada laws and Constitution but selectively…

As to Bundy’s claim that the land belongs to him through his ancestors, again that does not hold up to scrutiny either.

Two decades after Nevada’s founders proclaimed unswerving obedience to federal authority, Cliven Bundy’s family first settled the land where he and his supporters now make their heavily armed stand against federal power. It’s doubtful even the Nevada Constitution will change their minds—if legal and constitutional arguments could persuade the militia movement, there might not be a militia movement.

 

 

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NV – US v Bundy – My thoughts

I have been sharing my research on the Fogbow, but I’d like to also share it with the readers of this blog
Whatever4 wrote:
He also relies heavily on NRS 321.596-599, a Sagebrush Rebellion statute that Nevada passed saying Federal Lands in Nevada were now State Lands. He’s claiming that the Feds were only supposed to act as exclusive real estate agents for those lands, they weren’t supposed to hold them forever. He even has quotes. I’d love a real expert to take a gander at these and dissect them. (I miss Loh…) :cry: :xo
The Statute was found to be unconstitutional by the 9th circuit court of appeal in U.S. v. Nye County, Nev. 920 F.Supp. 1108 (1996) and the lower court’s ruling. The Nevada State Attorney also stipulated to that fact. He overlooks a simple fact: The Federal Government has full control over said lands, and they do not need a commerce clause to implement rules. Check out US v. Gardner, 107 F. 3d 1314 – Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit 1997:

Defendants-appellants Clifford and Bertha Gardner (“Gardners”) appeal the summary judgment granted in favor of plaintiff-appellee United States. Gardners claim that the 1316*1316 state of Nevada, not the United States, is the rightful owner of the public lands within Nevada. The district court granted the United States’ request for an injunction against Gardners’ unauthorized grazing of livestock upon federal forest land, and also ordered Gardners to pay a fee for the unauthorized grazing. We affirm.

The defendant argued

Gardners argue that grazing their livestock in the Humboldt National Forest without a permit does not constitute trespass because the federal government does not have title to the land on which the grazing took place. Gardners contend that, while the United States may have received the land in question from Mexico in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, the United States was entitled only to hold the land in trust for the creation of future states, and was not authorized to retain the land for its own purposes. After Nevada became a state, Gardners argue, all of the public lands within the state boundaries reverted to the state of Nevada.

The court found that

Thus, as the United States has held title to the unappropriated public lands in Nevada since Mexico ceded the land to the United States in 1848, the land is the property of the United States. The United States Constitution provides in the Property Clause that Congress has the power “to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States.” U.S. Const. art. IV, § 3, cl. 2. The Supreme Court has consistently recognized the expansiveness of this power, stating that “[t]he power over the public land thus entrusted to Congress is without limitations.

Nevada, before joining had disclaimed all rights to unappropriated public lands

When Congress invited Nevada to join the Union in 1864, it mandated that the Nevada constitutional convention pass an act promising that Nevada would “forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States….” Nevada Statehood Act of March 21, 1864, 13 Stat. 30, 31 § 4. The state constitutional convention did so. Ordinance of the Nevada Constitution.[5]

In this case the Nevada statute was found inapplicable rather than unconstitutional since it does not include national forest lands, which was relevant to Gardner.

[2] Gardners point out that Nevada recently passed a statute claiming ownership over all public lands within its boundaries, Nev. Rev. Stat. 321.5973. Gardners claim that the passage of this law further demonstrates that title to the public lands in Nevada properly rests in the state, not the federal, government. Gardners fail to note, however, that the Nevada statute by its own terms excludes national forest lands from the public lands claimed by Nevada. See Nev. Rev.Stat. § 321.5963.

In Nye however the court (9th circuit) found that

As noted earlier, while Nevada has statutorily claimed the public lands within Nye County, it ` concedes that this claim is constitutionally untenable. While this concession is tantamount to a consent to judgment, the court also concludes that the statutory claim is unsupported, unconstitutional, and fails as a matter of law.

Bundy has no foundation for his claims. In fact, he was not even denied a permit but rather the new 10 year permit stated that in years turtoises were found, the release of the vegetation to the cows would be delayed until the vegetation had reached a sufficient strength.

Bundy never had a legal right to the land and the federal government’s rights are without limitation. It’s time for Bundy to start paying up what he owns us.

Continue reading

The Bundy-incident – What next?

The recent incidents involving Cliven Bundy and his refusal to pay grazing fees to the Federal Government may escalate further in court as Think Progress speculates

One of the options for further prosecution affects those who crossed state lines to participate in furtherance of a civil disorder. This is the same law that resulted in Darren Huff’s conviction “18 U.S. Code § 231 – Civil disorders”

[w]hoever transports or manufactures for transportation in commerce any firearm, or explosive or incendiary device, knowing or having reason to know or intending that the same will be used unlawfully in furtherance of a civil disorder”

Domestic terrorism deserves our fullest attention.

As to Cliven Bundy, in addition to liens on his property, there are opportunities to have him be held in contempt of court. The fact that Bundy has defied the Court for many years, could end in the Court holding him in contempt, especially since the Federal Government has shown significant constraint. The rhetoric by Bundy will surely be introduced to the Court.