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.

POLL: Will Lois Lerner go to jail to protect Obama?

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 Gray Jones on April 17, 2014 at 9:42am

Constitutional restoration or New World Order.  It's up to us...Semper Fi Nam 66-67

Comment by Rev. Christine Richardson on April 17, 2014 at 9:20am

You all not think the Feds are going to get out of our personal life do you?

Comment by Frank W Brown on April 17, 2014 at 8:21am

Just Tells Us How We Got To Here...

A Country Founded by Geniuses but Run by Idiots!

If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but
not for entering and remaining in the country illegally — you might 
live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or 
to take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion — you might 
live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If you MUST show your identification to board an airplane, cash a 
check, buy liquor, or check out a library book and rent a video, but not
to vote for who runs the government — you might live in a nation that 
was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If the government wants to prevent stable, law-abiding citizens from 
owning gun magazines that hold more than ten rounds, but gives twenty 
F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt — you might live in a
nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If, in the nation’s largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but
not one 24-ounce soda, because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make 
you fat — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is
run by idiots.

If an 80-year-old woman or a three-year-old girl who is confined to a
wheelchair can be strip-searched by the TSA at the airport, but a woman
in a burka or a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head 
searched — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but 
is run by idiots.

If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions 
of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more — you might live in a 
nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If a seven-year-old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his 
teacher is “cute,” but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class 
in grade school is perfectly acceptable — you might live in a nation 
that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more 
government regulation and intrusion, while not working is rewarded with 
Food Stamps, WIC checks, Medicaid benefits, subsidized housing, and free
cell phones — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses 
but is run by idiots.

If the government’s plan for getting people back to work is to 
provide incentives for not working, by granting 99 weeks of unemployment
checks, without any requirement to prove that gainful employment was 
diligently sought, but couldn’t be found — you might live in a nation 
that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If you pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest 
big-screen TV, while your neighbor buys iPhones, time shares, a 
wall-sized do-it-all plasma screen TV and new cars, and the government 
forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage — you might live in a
nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If being stripped of your Constitutional right to defend yourself 
makes you more “safe” according to the government — you might live in a 
nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If the media panders to your openly socialist leader while the IRS targets groups with dissenting views— you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If your government 'cracks down' on legal gun sales to law abiding citizens while secretly supplying illegal guns to Mexican drug cartels— you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If your local government (Chicago) outlawed gun ownership for 'the safety of its citizens' and now boasts the worst murder rate in the country — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

What a country!

How about we give God a reason to continue blessing America?

This was borrowed from another blog, please spread it far and wide!

Comment by AtvRider48 on April 17, 2014 at 8:06am

This is a great article; very informative and educational.

Comment by Mangus Colorado on April 17, 2014 at 7:56am

Shays' Rebellion was an armed uprising that took place in central and western Massachusetts in 1786 and 1787. The rebellion was named after Daniel Shays, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War and one of the rebel leaders.

The rebellion started on August 29, 1786. It was precipitated by several factors: financial difficulties brought about by a post-war economic depression, a credit squeeze caused by a lack of hard currency, and fiscally harsh government policies instituted in 1785 to solve the state's debt problems. Protesters, including many war veterans, shut down county courts in the later months of 1786 to stop the judicial hearings for tax and debt collection. The protesters became radicalized against the state government following the arrests of some of their leaders, and began to organize an armed force. A militia raised as a private army defeated a Shaysite (rebel) attempt to seize the federal Springfield Armory in late January 1787, killing four and wounding 20. The main Shaysite force was scattered on February 4, 1787, after a surprise attack on their camp in Petersham, Massachusetts. Scattered resistance continued until June 1787, with the single most significant action being an incident in Sheffield in late February, where 30 rebels were wounded (one mortally) in a skirmish with government troops.

The rebellion took place in a political climate where reform of the country's governing document, the Articles of Confederation, was widely seen as necessary. The events of the rebellion, most of which occurred after the Philadelphia Convention had been called but before it began in May 1787, are widely seen to have affected the debates on the shape of the new government. The exact nature and consequence of the rebellion's influence on the content of the Constitution and the ratification debates continues to be a subject of historical discussion and debate.

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

Comment by Jonathon Joseph Parker on April 17, 2014 at 7:38am

THE TRUTH AND FACTS IN THIS ARTICLE SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES!!!  NOW WHERE IS OUR "DUELY ELECTED" CONGRESS TO ENFORCE THESE VERY IMPORTANT CONSTITUTIONAL LAWS???  THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CANNOT "CONSTITUTIONALLY" OWN OR CONTROL "STATE LANDS!" THE ACTIONS CRIMINALLY COMMITED AGAINST THE BUNDY'S BY HARRY REID AND THE BLM ARE IN TOTAL VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION!  SO WHY AREN'T OUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES DOING ANYTHING TO STOP IT???? CALL< MEET WITH< WRITE< EMAIL< FAX YOUR LOCAL CONGRESS REPRESENTATIVES, "DEMANDING" THAT THEY STOP THIS ATROCITY!!   FIGHT BACK AMERICA!!! THE FATE OF OUR COUNTRY IS AT STAKE!!!

Comment by Randall Lewis on April 17, 2014 at 6:38am

This was an excellent article and was very informative to those that were not familiar with the laws in question. Now it is up to the states to enforce these laws and force the feds to comply. Question: Who gives the BLM the authority to brandish firearms and perform illegal acts to American Citizens in any state?

Comment by Ralph Fucetola on April 17, 2014 at 6:25am

Excellent analysis. Part of restoring the Constitutional Republic is undoing usurpations that reach back nearly to the founding of the Republic. Surely the Fed Govt Western Lands Monopoly is one of these! That the policy was created in the aftermath of a war of aggression tells us a lot about the nature of the Federal Establishment that has been feasting on us for a very long time.

Just because a legal usurpation has been around for generations (example: the Federal Reserve Cartel) does not mean it is just. Under the common law, a usurpation of right is never valid precedent.

Comment by Linda Hahn on April 17, 2014 at 6:24am

Thanks for sharing this, Jim.  It's food for thought-where are the rest of the Republican wanna-be candidates?

Comment by Richard Lewis on April 17, 2014 at 6:08am

Thanks for your excellent and timely article. Acting on knowledge was the basis for our nations political success for many years.

Injustice should not be tolerated.  Activist need to follow Clive Bundy’s example in other areas where the federal government has no lawful authority.

Education “Common Core”, federal regulation of speech press and Agenda 21 should be challenged now with continuous and unrelenting calls to congress!  

This could cause the feds to rethink their BLM plans in Nevada!

LIGHTER SIDE

 

Political Cartoons by AF Branco

Political Cartoons by Michael RamirezPolitical Cartoons by AF Branco

ALERT ALERT

Fact Check:   'Joe Biden Claims ‘We Didn’t Lock People Up In Cages’

CLAIM: Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed, on immigration: “We didn’t lock people up in cages.”

VERDICT: FALSE. The “cages” were built by the Obama-Biden administration.

Univision moderator Jorge Ramos asked Biden at the third Democrat debate at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas, why Latinos should trust him after the Obama administration continued deporting “undocumented immigrants.”

Biden claimed that the Obama administration’s policies were more humane than those of President Donald Trump: “We didn’t lock people up in cages,” he said.

In fact, the “cages” were built by the Obama administration to deal with a surge of unaccompanied minors who crossed the border illegally in 2014.

Originally, the Obama administration was “warehousing” children — literally — in overwhelmed Border Patrol facilities. Breitbart News broke the story of the surge, which was partly triggered by Obama’s policy of allowing illegal alien children who entered the country as minors to stay in the country (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA).

Above image credit: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File

The above photo was published by the Associated Press in June 2014, and the photo below is of Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, touring a Border Patrol facility with “cages.”


Above: Border Patrol officers escort Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Gov. Jan Brewer through the department’s Nogales processing facility for immigrant children. (Photo courtesy Barry Bahler/Department of Homeland Security)

The “cages” are chain-link enclosures in Border Patrol processing facilities that are meant to protect children from adults in custody. They are not permanent accommodations.

In mid-2018, as the Trump administration began enforcing a “zero tolerance” policy that stopped the “catch-and-release” policy of letting illegal aliens go after they were arrested. Detaining adults and children meant that children had to be processed separately; the enclosures prevented adults from harming children.

As Breitbart News reported at the time, children were not housed in “cages.” They were processed and then taken to shelters, where they were given medical care, toiletries, education, recreation, and counseling, and where staff attempted to find relatives or sponsors to whom they could be released.

Democrats began tweeting images of “kids in cages” to condemn the Trump administration. Journalists, too, shared those images.

One problem: they were taken during the Obama administration.

Public outrage at the images led President Trump to end the policy, and require families to be detained together.

Democrats keep repeating the mistake, however: in July, they had to delete a tweet that used an image from the Obama era and cited the “inhumane treatment” of children by the Trump administration.

Republicans argue that not detaining illegal aliens is actually the cruel policy, because it encourages migrants to undertake a dangerous journey, often guided by cartels and smugglers.

As Breitbart News’ Alana Mastrangelo noted recently:

But what’s worse than “cages,” however, are reports of migrant children also being handed over to human traffickers during the Obama administration — while Biden was vice president — according to the New York Times. Between October 2013 and July 2015 alone, nearly 80,000 unaccompanied children from Central American countries were detained by U.S. authorities.

It remains unclear how many of the tens of thousands of children were handed over to human traffickers — including sex traffickers — during that span of nearly two years, as those cases are reportedly not tracked.

“Others were ransomed by the very smugglers to whom their families paid thousands of dollars to sneak them into the United States,” reported the New York Times in 2015, during Obama’s presidency and Biden’s vice presidency. “Some lost limbs during the journey or found themselves sold into sexual slavery.”

Biden told voters in South Carolina last month that he would close all border detention facilities, guaranteeing that the migrant flow would continue.

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