The Bundy Siege: Federal Imperialism v State Sovereignty

The Bureau of Land Management’s siege of the Bundy Ranch in Nevada compels me to re-publish this post. I ask readers to carefully research this issue and to decide for yourself whether or not the federal government has violated public trust and the Rule of Law.

For a painfully long time now, our federal masters and their judicial enablers have ignored and, to my way of thinking, flagrantly violated the Constitution with impunity. All too often, Supreme Court rulings have served to override common sense, constitutionality and original intent.

And so long as black-robed, unelected and unaccountable judicial oligarchs, aka judges–as well as the submissive states themselves–allow “judicial supremacy” to trump “constitutional supremacy” on a whole host of foundational constitutional issues, our economic growth will be hobbled, our liberties diminished, state sovereignty further degraded, constitutional order imperiled, common sense and Rule of Law abandoned.

To wit, per Art 1.8.17 of the Constitution and provisions of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, and despite a veritable cesspool of clubby, contrived and revisionist court rulings over the years through which I was barely able to wade, it appears glaringly obvious to me that our federal overseers are occupying millions of otherwise productive acres within the several states without the “concurrence” of those states and without constitutional justification.

Article 1.8.17 (“Enclave Clause”) granted power to Congress “to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States [i.e. the District of Columbia], and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings.” Crystal-clear what the original meaning is here despite the shamelessly self-serving litany of subsequent spin on the part of our judicial overlords, lap dogs of the federal government.

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Clearly this clause meant that the people of the states empowered Congress to exercise complete jurisdiction and authority over all lands or facilities purchased within a state, provided it was with the consent of the legislature of that state, and that such lands would be used for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock yards, and other needful buildings.” Clearly implied in this clause is that the several states, the immediate fiduciary agents of the people, reserve the right to assume title to all lands within their borders which are not being used by the federal government for the specific purposes provided in the clause, that being “the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock yards, and other needful buildings.”

It is also important to note that nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government granted the enumerated power of complete jurisdiction and authority over state territory; thus, state retention and ownership of public lands stems from the 10th Amendment which reserves all rights to the states which are not specifically granted to Congress. The twisted and carefully crafted Delphic court rulings notwithstanding, the original meaning seems abundantly clear to me.

Art 4.3.1 allowed a mechanism for the formation and admission of new states into the union, and Art 4.3.2 described the extent of congressional authority over federal territory within those states. Subsequently, the Supreme Court ruled that federal property applies only to the territory at the time of the Constitution’s adoption and is considered public land only until that territory is granted statehood and the national debt incurred by the Revolutionary War is paid. In other words, temporary federal control over those lands.

In accordance with the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which was re-enacted after the Constitution’s ratification, all new states were to be admitted to the union on the basis of full equality with the original thirteen states. It was generally understood that as territories were granted statehood, the people of those states would acquire title to all lands within their state boundaries—except, of course, those lands granted to the feds for those well-defined purposes cited in Art 1.8.17.

To help pay down the national debt, Congress assured the states of full title to those lands not used for federally sanctioned purposes when that land was sold off. The following then became the established policy for new states:

1. The feds would retain all ungranted public lands.

2. The feds guaranteed that it would dispose of these lands as soon as possible.

3. The new state would acquire jurisdiction over these lands as fast as they were sold to private individuals.

4. States would be admitted on the basis of “equal footing” with the original 13 states (each of which retained complete ownership/control over their respective territories.

As a result, all states east of the Mississippi and those comprising the Louisiana Purchase eventually acquired title to all but a very small portion of the land lying within their state boundaries.

However, following our war with Mexico, Congress inexplicably digressed from this policy and virtually eliminated the sale or disposal of federal lands in the western states. This resulted in Congress’s retaining major portions of those state lands, this in seemingly direct contravention of the Constitution and of the Northwest Ordinance. Essentially, the federal government became the sole owner and manager of nearly 30%, or a whopping 650 million acres, of America’s landmass, for the constitutionally unspecified purposes of maintaining national forests, national parks, national monuments, Indian reservations, coal and oil reserves, lands leased to farmers and ranchers, and resources-rich so-called “wilderness areas”. And, of course, the cost to taxpayers for maintaining the sprawling federal bureaucracy in order to manage these federally controlled lands is in the billions of dollars.

Federal defenders of this overreach breathlessly point to the so-called “property clause” (Art 4.3.2) which provides that “Congress shall have power to dispose of and make any needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States and any territory or property belonging to the United States.” Clearly, doesn't this create a convenient constitutional ambiguity by contradicting the original intent of Art 1.8.17? Does this not exact restrictions on the western states, which had never been imposed on earlier states? So much for states being admitted into the union on “equal footing” and “full equality” with earlier states. Is federal retention of 30% of America’s real estate really a “necessary and proper” exercise of federal powers? For me to believe that would require a willful suspension of common sense.

To give you an idea of how much state land is now imperially held by the feds, check this out: NV 85%, AL 70%, UT, 60%, OR 53%, AZ 47%, CA 45%, WY 42%, NM 42%, CO 37%, and poor Alaska 96%! Note: 65% of federal land holdings are located west of the Mississippi and a paltry 1% of all federally controlled land in the country is currently being utilized for those specific purposes cited in Art 1.8.17. One must wonder why these lands are still being held by the feds. Pay off the Revolutionary War debt? Gee, I don’t think so. Lofty, if not entirely contrived, constitutional justifications? Or, more likely, the relentless federal grasp for power and, today, a way to placate a host of environmental allies by denying the states and the country access to those climate-warming pollutants such as oil and gas.

Regarding the Enclave Clause, James Madison stated that “the public money expended on such places, and the public property deposited in them, require that they should be exempt from the authority of the particular State. Nor would it be proper for the places on which the security of the entire Union may depend to be in any degree dependent on a particular member of it. All objections and scruples are here also obviated by requiring the concurrence of the States concerned in every such establishment.” But, have the courts sought the concurrence of the states? Nope.

Clearly, the federal government is occupying millions of acres without the “concurrence” of those states, but maintains their grip with the twisted and self-serving judicial sanction of federal Courts intent upon expanding and strengthening federal power.

So, what is the recourse of the several states? My opinion, which is shared by many other originalists, is that in keeping with the doctrine of state sovereignty, original intent and the 10th Amendment, states should simply legislatively assume title of all lands not being utilized by the federal government as specified in the Enclave Clause. Of course, to placate the courts and public opinion, states should first sue the federal government to acquire title. And since the states will not prevail in such a lopsided judicial struggle, they should then rightfully and unhesitatingly assert their 10th Amendment rights by immediately assuming direct ownership and control of what I have dubbed the “royal federal reserves” lying within their state boundaries.

But, do the chastened, weak-kneed, and heavily bribed states have the backbone to hazard the restoration of their constitutional sovereignty and honor? Ah, yes, that’s the burning question.

The constitutional issue aside for a moment, in truth the achievement of energy independence alone should provide ample motivation for the states and their people to step up and take back their land, which is illegally held by the feds. And should the states fail to assert their rights under the original constitution, they should quietly accept their bondage and compliantly move on with their drab, submissive lives.

“An injustice unchallenged is justice denied. “Author Unknown

“Nothing should ever be implied as law which leads to absurd or unjust consequences. “Abraham Lincoln (1861)

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Comment by Mangus Colorado on April 20, 2014 at 5:57am

Frank we need to repeal three amendment and the power and money will be gone from DC and returned to the State Legislatures. National election will not change a thing for no elected politician will ever vote to reduce their power.

http://articlevprojecttorestoreliberty.com/the-28th-amendment.html

Comment by Frank D. Harrisson on April 19, 2014 at 10:56pm

We need not only to elect persons for the US Congress who are compliant with the US Constitution as we need to do the same for our state legislatures. The way to go is for the people to push their state legislatures toward posting all lands within the state are sovereign to the state and to recall their US Senators and reassign them through the state legislature as in the USC Article 1 Section 3 and repeal the Amendment XVII. The Bundy Ranch issue should be a wakeup call for everyone.

Comment by Mary on April 18, 2014 at 10:29am

This should be how this is explained on the news stories. This is why the Fed is dead wrong all across the west.

Comment by George F Dixon on April 17, 2014 at 12:58pm

The Bundy Siege: Federal Imperialism v State Sovereignty

The immediate issue is not so much 'Imperialism' as it is the apparent ease that someone can position themselves to abuse the power of our government. 

 It's like a gun, inanimate until directed and fired... by a person (or 'persons' such as with a crew-served weapon like Government).

-=-=-=-=-

The Reid nexus at the county government level:

Reuters News Agency:
"Senator Reid (D) and his oldest son, Rory, are both involved in an effort by a Chinese energy giant, ENN Energy Group, to build a $5 billion solar farm and panel manufacturing plant in the southern Nevada desert."

Rory Reid, "a lawyer with a prominent Las Vegas firm that is representing ENN, helped it locate a 9,000-acre (3,600-hectare) desert site that it is buying well below appraised value from Clark County, where Rory Reid formerly chaired the county commission."

The Reid nexus at the Federal level:

Reuters News Agency:
"Senator Reid (D) and his oldest son, Rory, are both involved in an effort by a Chinese energy giant, ENN Energy Group, to build a $5 billion solar farm and panel manufacturing plant in the southern Nevada desert.

Sen. "Reid has been one of the project's most prominent advocates, helping recruit the company during a 2011 trip to China and applying his political muscle on behalf of the project in Nevada."

The Reid nexus at the Federal Agency level:

"The Bureau of Land Management [BLM], whose current director was formerly Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) senior adviser"

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

So, is government too big, too grasping? 

Of course, it is absurdly large (bureaucracy metastasizes at an unmatched rate), but size is not the biggest problem.

No matter what size or form Government is, it will be subject to misuse, to abuse like any other Government to date can be, IF a Person or Persons  in a position which allows them to, decide to act contrary to ethics or law.

Getting a system  which makes this harder to do and easier to report… coupled with a news media which does not manage truth, but reports all facts, would go a long way.  Getting there is just about impossible today.

Comment by Triptolemus on April 17, 2014 at 12:27pm

Mangus

Good post. You could have added that the government is giving monopolies to favored people to use and make money off of public land, such as licensing raft trips down some rivers. I think they are moving towards a system like they have in socialist Europe where all land and the game on it belong to them. Most people don't know it but if you go hunting in Europe, (if you are rich enough and important enough to get permission) any game you shoot belongs to the game warden, not to you. The village butcher takes possession of anything you shoot, and sells it for the state. (I don't think Sara Palin would get along too well hunting in Europe) The special permits needed to get onto public land are intended to keep the public out. In Minnesota there was a rule in the Boundary Waters area  that all campers had to collect their feces and pack it out or get fined. Park Rangers were allowed to demand to see proof that you complied with the rule.

Comment by Mangus Colorado on April 17, 2014 at 10:29am

Jim,

All money from the Federal Government comes from the many states and their citizens - now that being said the borrowing for WARS is legitimate and the States will be assessed per the Constitution. All the other unconstitutional borrowing is at issue and is owed by the PEOPLE OF THE MANY STATES.

The Federal government has only the LAND, NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE COASTAL PLAINS OUTSIDE THE STATE 3 TO 5 MILE LIMITS OUT TO 200 MILES. Per you post the land was to be sold and put on the tax base and under the Control of the Sovereign State.

The Founders Framers and Ratifiers had no intention of letting the Federal Central government OWN all the land just as the KING had done before. So, there is little chance of the FF&R to give away privatized State property rights to the Central government - but they usurped and formed National forests, National Parks, National monuments, species reserves, and many sub classes of land so they appear to be for the PUBLIC use. 

Try to drive out and look at the public land - even if you are elderly - disabled or have other inability to walk - you are forbidden access to public lands. So they are private for Government use are they not. THE KING LIVES AGAIN.

Comment by Jim Delaney on April 17, 2014 at 10:14am

Linda,

A valid question. It's a PR move. With so many Americans still believing that the rule of law means our submitting an issue to the judiciary for their wise review adn divine consideration, I suggested a suit first (which would be lost in short order), and then assertion of the State's authority over the lands in question. My druthers? Skip step 1 and assert one's constitutional authority, which would, hopefully, be the end result anyway.

Comment by Mangus Colorado on April 17, 2014 at 10:13am

Margot,

I submit the following information for all to consider . . 

IS THE UNITED STATES A CORPORATION?

Let me tell you of an interesting thought - It goes back to the territorial days - It is an issue where some believe that the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is a corporation? Let me first state that we are citizens of the State we reside in, and that State is a member of the United States - under a Compact we call the Constitution.

Therefore: the Federal Government has some limited rights and that the various State citizens will vote to elect certain elected officials in certain methods and manners.

 Federal laws have no force or effect inside States unless within the Four corners of the Constitution, of which there are very few. 

The Federal government has no CONSTITUTIONAL POLICE POWERS. 
I pose this question for you.  Have you ever seen any language that would permit a Federal police force? The answer, of course, is we have not - for it is not there. 

Even the existence of Federal district courts are not provided for in the Constitution.  Therefore;  they have no real power except -as perceived by the people and the fear of arrest and harassment by the Federal Attorney General's  office and the US attorney for that State district?

The topic deserves interest, but for me,  I am a supporter for the AV process and the 28th proposed amendment- IT GETS IT ALL DONE!

The end of the AV process is controlled by needing 38+ State legislatures to Ratify the amendment. 

I would submit that can not happen if the amendments  (14-16-17) are rewritten. The ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION and its protections concern the smallest minority - the SOVEREIGN INDIVIDUAL . 

WE THE PEOPLE created and approved the ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION which is a COMPACT with specific powers and limits. 

*It bestows no citizenship on any person nor does it limit who can be a State citizen. 
*It does not say who and who can not vote in elections for the Federal Offices. 

*The Constitution is a LIMITING DOCUMENT. 
It does not pass any rights to anyone!
* Rights are from the CREATOR.
All unstated rights go to the States and to the people. 

So, we are all citizens of our Home State - I was born in (edit), but I am a citizen of (edit). 
Keep  in mind that all case law precedent on the Federal Level are usurped as Article III does not allow British case law theory nor does it allow for Judicial review.

(1807-1815) The Writings of Thomas Jefferson_Part 1 Beginning on Pg 53.
 
"DEAR SIR, While Burr's case is depending before the court, I will trouble you, from time to time, with what occurs to me. I observe that the case of Marbury v. Madison has been cited, and I think it material to stop at the threshold the citing that case as authority, and to have it denied to be law."
 
"I have long wished for a proper occasion to have the gratuitous opinion in Marbury v. Madison brought before the public, & denounced as not law; &: I think the present a fortunate one. because it occupies such a place in the public attention. I should be glad therefore. if, in noticing that case.you could take occasion to express the determination of the executive, that the doctrines of that case were given extra judicially & against law, and that their reverse will be the rule of action with the executive."

                                                                   USURPED POWERS AND HAMILTON 

Now maybe all will understand the importance of restoring the ORIGINAL Constitution and it's intents and meanings as of the time it was adopted. None of the laws passed or the Precedent case law created using the usurped powers has any effect in law. They by the nature of the usurpation are null and viod because the usurpers did not have Constitutional power to change alter or create new rights or find new meaning to the various sections, clauses and amendments.

Any violation of oath of office by way of usurpation of power is the gravest of civic offenses. It is "treasonable usurpation upon the power and majesty of the people," as Alexander Hamilton correctly characterized any flouting of the people's fundamental law. ("letters of Phocion," 1784: regarding violation of the New York Constitution.) 

Any usurpation "is criminal and odious" as declared by President John Quincy Adams in his first annual Message to Congress 1825. Such condemnation of usurpation-either by misusing granted power, or by grasping power which has not been granted - is in keeping with the Federalist's denunciation of this most heinous offense by any public official as a defaulting public trustee, including especially any and ever Judge because especially charged with the particular duty of enforcing respect in practice of this basic law. (all from a book by Hamilton Abert Long).

So as you can surmise the Congress and the Courts are usurpers as they have created new laws where none existed and new rights where none had been before. So, if they usurped the powers and actions the actions and right are hereby voided in the real law.

Comment by Margot Malpher on April 17, 2014 at 10:05am

Question I have is:  For a state to be Sovereign and remain so, does that state have to remain debt-free from the Federal Government?  Second question is:  Are all states Instrumentalities of the United States?  When the United States of America became a Corporation, all states became Corporations under it.  Any state that has a financial obligation (Contract) outstanding is tied to Federal Laws and thereby cannot be "Sovereign" in the sense that it is not standing on its own legs.  All states to my best belief and understanding, are in a state of "Dependency".  I know of no state that can survive in these times without Federal Assistance.  And the Federal Reserve has put us all in this Dependency position.  Here are two examples re The State of Maine:

1.  Maine refused to give a student a course in English, when requested.  The student complained to the Federal Agency.  After examination, the Federal told Maine, nicely, Maine had to comply with Federal law and provide education to the student, and Maine was reminded of Discrimination laws and Financial Assistance Laws.  Maine agreed to give the student English lessons and it now has one of the best Programs in the country.

2.  Maine refused to obey the REAL ID program outlined by Homeland Security.  Homeland's then Director Mr. Kirshoff contacted Maine's then Governor John Baldacci.  After their discussion, Mr. Baldacci said, OK, we will do it, but I don't know where we will find the money.

So, my 3rd question is:  IF Maine (or any other state) is Sovereign, then WHY DIDN'T SHE TELL FEDERAL TO MIND ITS OWN BUSINESS?

In my opinion, a truly Sovereign state (and individual) can stand on its own.  I don't think we have been able to be "independent" for at least 100 years when Pres. Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Bill/Law.  So, if Tea Party Members want us to be the Sovereign States we once were before we went into Bankruptsy (which goes back to the first of many) then we have a lot of hard work to do!!!

1.  INCREASE MEMBERSHIP TEN FOLD.

2.  KEEP AFTER CONGRESS TO DO THEIR JOB (CONSTITUTION).

3.  FIND OUT WHO EXACTLY HOLDS US IN RECEIVERSHIP.  Rothschild once said (paraphrased), Show me who holds the Power of the Money Supply and I care not who makes the Laws.  Bottom Line:  Money.  Is it the Big Bankers, the Vatican, The Crown of England, the so-called CABAL?  All these have been mentioned.  Once we have the answer, we will know what needs to be done next.

4.  When we have the information we need, then we will have the TREMENDOUS JOB to put HUMPTY DUMPTY BACK ON THE WALL.

Comment by Linda LaPorta on April 17, 2014 at 10:02am

"Of course, to placate the courts and public opinion, states should first sue the federal government to acquire title. And since the states will not prevail in such a lopsided judicial struggle, they should then rightfully and unhesitatingly assert their 10th Amendment rights by immediately assuming direct ownership and control of what I have dubbed the “royal federal reserves” lying within their state boundaries."

This was a very informative article, but I have one question:  Why do you believe it's necessary to first sue the fed govt?  Seems to me the more ridiculous precedents set, the more difficult it would be to overcome their anti-constitutionality.  I understand Nevada is already working on something that will force the federal govt out of unauthorized state land.  Utah has already taken similar action.  So why not just do what Utah did?

LIGHTER SIDE

 

Political Cartoons by Tom StiglichPolitical Cartoons by AF Branco

Political Cartoons by AF Branco

ALERT ALERT

Joe Biden On Violence Against Women:   We Have To Keep ‘Punching At It, And Punching At It, And Punching At It’

 The audience laughed as he said this.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said that America needs to be “punching” back to combat violence against women during Wednesday’s Democratic debate.

Biden was asked if he would tackle specific issues regarding the #MeToo movement at the beginning of his presidency, if he were to be elected. The former vice president previously sponsored the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which aimed to protect victims of domestic violence.

The presidential candidate responded to the question about assaulting women by using the phrase “punching” repeatedly, apparently not thinking about the implications of using such a word.

“No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman in anger other than in self-defense, and that rarely ever occurs,” Biden said. “So we have to just change the culture, period, and keep punching at it and punching at it and punching at it. No, I really mean it.”

A few people laughed in the audience as he said this.

Biden added that it is important to pass the Violence Against Women Act, which has passed in the House and held up in the Senate. The former Vice President also suggested that America has to “fundamentally change the culture” of how women are treated, noting that it is “everyone’s responsibility.”

“It’s a gigantic issue, and we have to make it clear from the top, from the president on down that we will not tolerate it,” Biden said. “We will not tolerate this culture.”

Tucker's big takeaways from the Trump impeachment saga

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