You've got it backcward. All of the land is federal land before states are
created. You should be asking to see the documments where the federal
government gave the land in question to Utah when it became a state. If no such
documents exist (and they don't), the lands remain federal lands.
Here in Utah, at least, the bill of sale you're looking for is titled
"The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo." You're welcome.
You may not have missed an amendment - but you are missing a significant part of
US history. Prior to the creation of the Federal government and the
United States, there were only the states and each state owned certain land. All
the land that comprised what became the original United States was already owned
in this manner. Later land became part of the United States through
purchases by the Federal government (Louisiana Purchase, for example) or
treaties (such as the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo) made with the Federal
government by which the land became property of the Federal government of the
United States. US citizens who were allowed by the Federal
government to live in territories on this land were eventually able to petition
the Federal government to make the territory a state - at which point some of
the land in the territory became land that belonged to the new state and some of
the land remained the property of the Federal governmentThere is
more to US history than just the Constitution.
Chester - sorry, but there is a bill of sale for the state of Utah... to the
federal government. After the end of the Mexican War, the us bought the area
known as Utah from Mexico, who was the owner of it. So yes, there was a bill of
sale... and it was to the federal government, not the state.Read up
on the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, The federal government paid 15,000,000 usd
for the area now known as Utah.
Wow. Where to begin? Since the letter writer opined about other people reading
the Constitution I guess I could start by quoting Article IV Section 3 Paragraph
2 of the US Constitution:"The Congress shall have Power 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."And because the letter
writer asked about a bill of sale, and since the above passage of the
Constitution specifically points to Federal Property, it may be instructive to
note that these portions of land were not bought from the States, because they
were actually purchased from Mexico as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo which ended the Mexican American War. As a part of that treaty the
United States agreed to pay Mexico $18,250,000 for the lands it was to receive.
This resulted in these lands becoming Federal Property well before any of these
lands were accepted into the Union as States.I hope that was
The "Bill of Sale" you are looking for is the Treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo. You know, the one that ended the Mexican American war that gave the US
the land that the state of Utah now sits on? This was all federal land before
states even existed.
The only land owned by the Federal Government is the District of Columbia and
those parts mentioned in the letter.We are a federation of States.
The State is not a "county" of the Federal Government. The Federal
Government's job is to facilitate commerce between the States, to act as
arbitrator when problems arise, and to raise up an army and navy to protect the
States from enemies. Nothing in the Constitution mentions that the Federal
Government owns any land inside the boundaries of any State. The
Federal Government cannot "give back" something that it does not already
Mr. Richards, whatever shall you do with the Utah Constitution, Article XX,
Section 1? It reads: "All lands of the State that have been, or may
hereafter be granted to the State by Congress, and all lands acquired by gift,
grant or devise, from any person or corporation, or that may otherwise be
acquired, are hereby accepted, and declared to be the public lands of the State;
and shall be held in trust for the people, to be disposed of as may be provided
by law, for the respective purposes for which they have been or may be granted,
donated, devised or otherwise acquired."Why did the state
constitution concede that its lands had been "granted to [it] by
Congress"? How strange that you aren't citing the relevant
Don't forget the "Alaska Purchase".The United States bought
the entire State from the Russian Empire in 1867 for $7.2 Million - what a
country?!FYI -- Manhattan Island New York was purchased for 60 Dutch
guilders from the Native Americans -- roughly $1000 in today's value.--------- Martin BlankSalt Lake City, UTYou have to excuse Mike, he's still living in 1776 and ignores everything
Abraham Lincoln did for this country.
When Utah was a territory of the United States, it was "owned" by the
Federal Government. When it was granted Statehood, it accepted its position and
responsibility among the Federation of States. It because equal to all other
States and was no longer a "territory" controlled and administered by
the Federal Government."State lands" and "Federal
Lands" are two separate entities. The Utah State Constitution allows the
State to own land. The U.S. Constitution has no provision for the Federal
Government "owning" land, except for the District of Columbia and for
military bases required for the protection of the States. The
Federal Government "administers", it does not own. The people and the
States "own". The people and the States are required to carry out every
responsibility except for those duties enumerated in Article 1, Section 8, that
the people assigned to the Federal Government. Notice how each of those
enumerated duties is larger than can be performed by any individual State and
that those duties define the relationship that must exist between the States for
the federation to work properly.
Re: "You've got it backcward [sic]. All of the land is federal land
before states are created."Actually, the "backcward"
thinking is to suggest all power and authority resides in the federal
government, unless and until it deigns to dribble a little to the states.In those states created prior to Nevada, admission operated as an
automatic cession of public lands to the state, as required by the Constitution.
When Nevada was admitted, suspicion of Mormon "celestial empire"
doctrine was used to justify illegally forcing ceding its right to its lands, as
a condition of admission. The same illegal policy was forced on other
politically-weak petitioning states with a Mormon population. Hence,
intermountain Western states, including later-admitted Arizona and New Mexico,
must unfairly contend with an absentee federal landlord in dealing with most
public lands, unlike others without significant Mormon populations -- Nebraska,
Colorado, the Dakotas, Washington Oklahoma, and even Montana, which was
gerrymandered to exclude Mormons.Unconstitutional federal land
claims in the intermountain West are simply an artefact of anti-Mormon
prejudice. Nothing more.
What an absurd, baseless article. Seriously, this issue has been resolved years
ago and any person or politican who still thinks Federal land is Utah's
land is simply stated, a buffon.
Mike Richards,Since your referenced the Utah State Constitution, you
should probably re-read Article 3 Section 2 of the Utah State Constitution,
which states:"The people inhabiting this State do affirm and
declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated
public lands lying within the boundaries hereof, and to all lands lying within
said limits owned or held by any Indian or Indian tribes, and that until the
title thereto shall have been extinguished by the United States, the same shall
be and remain subject to the disposition of the United States, and said Indian
lands shall remain under the absolute jurisdiction and control of the Congress
of the United States."This section is important, because the
State of Utah not only divests itself of all "unappropriated public
lands", it also notes that the title holder (or owner) of those lands is the
United States.I will agree with your assertion that this means that
the people own these lands. However, you should recognize that this means that
a New Yorker has as much claim to Federal Lands in Utah as does a native Utahn.
Interesting legal points raised here. I guess that's why we have courts.
Personally, however, I would prefer Utah's pristine lands remain public to
they can be preserved for the future. I simply don't trust the state of
Utah to do that.
Some of you are challenging with actual state and federal constitutional
language.What you do not understand is that some (not to name names)
reject as invalid, any constitutional language or Supreme Court rulings with
which they disagree regardless of how clear it is.While posting
exact language, you may get accused of "spinning"You may as
well be talking to a rock.
Just a thought... What is the Federal Government? Is it an entity like General
Motors? Is it a private organization? To me, at least, it is a
composite of the States and controlled by their representatives. By granting
statehood, and deliniating the borders thereof, the "composite" has
granted all lands therin to the State thus created with the exception of certain
lands used for the "National" interests such as Parks and Military
bases/Forts.Amendment 10 to the Constitution limits the powers of
the Federal Government to those deliniated in the Constitution..all other powers
are rendered to the States and/or the people...
WOW! just... wow!UNVELIEVABLE that this letter was printed.This letter is a prime example as to why we really REALLY need to require
students to take more history classes in school. What does biology,
math, and chemistry benefit you when you know absolutely nothing about where we
came from, the basics on this country, and the background to this state? How are
voters supposed to be informed when they don't know any of this?Please take more history classes folks. They could eliminate a lot of
confusion I see on this board.
The opposition to the Louisiana Purchase claimed that it was unconstitutional
for the Federal government to buy and hold title to land. Their challenges were
unsuccessful.Are we really arguing constitutional law issues that
were settled in 1803? I've heard it said that anywhere you
look in the State of Utah, you can see land owned by the federal government.
The rebuttal to arguments against federal ownership and control is staring you
right in the face.
Those who claim that the Federal Government have all authority except what is
expressly forbidden belong in the camp that tells us that the Federal Government
can own land inside a State (not just military bases).Those who
claim that the Federal Government is restricted by the people and has only the
authority enumerated by the people in the Constitution belong to the camp that
tells us that the Federal Government cannot own land inside a State (military
bases excluded).Is the Constitution the Supreme Law of the Land or
isn't it? Except for military bases, is the District Of Columbia (Article
1, Section 8, Clause 17) the only land that the people allow the Federal
Government to "own"?The Constitution expressly tells us that
a State cannot be subdivided to create two States; therefore New York has no
claim on any lands inside Utah, nor does any other State. That is forbidden by
the Constitution. (Article IV). The People of New York have no claim on the
land of Utah. They are not citizens of the State of Utah. Utah is not a
"suburb" of New York.Claiming rights and authority that do
no exist is unethical.
Mike Richards and company, it's simple.Utah cannot even
maintain their own roads and schools. And you want them in charge of more
land??? Huh?Would you give your child control over your mortgage and
bank account when they have been just convicted of drug selling and
addiction?Utah shouldnt be rewarded more land Until Utah shows a
capability to maintain the land they already have.
US Constitution, Article IV, Section 3: "New States may be admitted by the
Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the
Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two
or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of
the States concerned as well as of the Congress."The Congress
shall have Power 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."Obviously, the
Federal Government can own property and nothing in the US Constitution indicates
that when territories become states all the land within the new state cedes to
Mike,The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, as it is
interpreted by the Supreme Court, not as it is interpreted by Mike Richards. And Real Maverick, this letter was printed only so that people like Mike
Richards can agree with it.
Re: ". . . nothing in the US Constitution indicates that . . . all the land
within the new state cedes to the state."Well, nothing except
the Constitution, itself, that is.Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17
clearly indicates that the federal government will only exercise authority over
DC and ". . . Places purchased 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"The clause in
Article IV only applies to territory outside the borders of a state.Prior to Nevada's entry, all unencumbered public lands in the state were
either explicitly ceded, or considered as automatically ceded, to the new
state.Because Nevada's borders enclosed a portion of the
proposed state of Deseret, the federal government forced a cession by the new
state of those lands to the federal government, to keep them away from Mormons.
That model was also followed for all other new states with significant Mormon
populations.Those new states without a significant Mormon presence
were not affected.Hmmmmm.
I have to hand it to you, Mike Richards. You are nothing if not consistent on
constitutional interpretation of federalism, even if your position is one that
was never a majority view in antebellum America, much less after the Civil War
fundamentally altered the structure of federalism.
procuradorfiscal,Article IV Section 3 does not "only appl(y) to
territory outside the borders of a state" (I assume you actually mean
outside the borders of the United States). This is because this section also
applies to Federal Property. One of the definitions of
"property" as found in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary is:"something owned or possessed; specifically : a piece of real
estate".Under this standard dictionary definition of property,
lands are included in any reading of Article IV Section 3 of the United States
What is most humorous to me is that people like this letter writer actually
believe they have stumbled across some great gem of an idea that every other
person arguing that the state owns the land has missed for the past 100 plus
years. There is a reason this argument has not gone anywhere in that 100 plus
years my friends.
Re: ". . . lands are included in any reading of Article IV Section 3 of the
United States Constitution."Not in any fair reading, they
aren't. At least not the large federal landholdings in the West.Article IV primarily provides guarantees of fair federal action in matters
between states and in the territories, and it protects people in one state from
predation by those of another. Its oft-quoted "privileges and
immunities" clause is, in fact, VIOLATED by the discriminatory federal
treatment of new Great Basin states.Article IV's language
"respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United
States," particularly when read together with Article I, Section 8 and
interpreted in light of federal government actions in admitting other states,
simply does NOT support a discriminatory federal lands policy applied only to
intermountain Western states, post-Nevada-admission.Common sense,
together with the great weight of legislative history, clearly support only one
conclusion -- this unconstitutional federal policy was intended to discriminate
against Mormons.Which also violates, of course, the First Amendment.
@Mike Richards:Article IV, § 3, Clause 2,of the United States
Constitution says: "The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all
needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property
belonging to the United States." Aritlce II, section 2, gives the President
the power, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties. So under
the Constitutional treaty power, the federal government acquired federal land
and under the Constitutional property clause, the federal government has the
power to dispose of or make rules and regulations about the property it has
Kent C. DeForrest argues that the Supreme Court is not bound to honor the
Constitution as written, but that the Court is able to legislate new law as is
convenient. The Court has the responsibility to measure any case
against the Constitution, not against popular opinion or against the desires of
other lawyers, judges or Presidents. Lawlessness can start when a court takes
power to itself to legislate from the bench.The Constitution forbids
the Federal Government to "own" land except for the District Of
Columbia. The maximum size of that District is enumerated in the Constitution.
Some tell us "ad nauseam" that the Constitution is "passe", that
in today's "enlightened" times, that it no longer applies.
Don't they wish!The Constitution is still in effect, even if
Kent believes differently. The duties of government are enumerated in that
document. All unenumerated duties fall to the States and to the people. Except
for the District of Columbia, the States and the people own all land in the U.S.
(except for territories outside the existing States and land set aside for
military bases).The Constitution settled that argument when it was
Why argue with these people. You can tell them blue is blue and they'll
argue that the Constitution says it's green.
Mike and friends:Go to any title company and ask them to trace the
chain of title to any land you think you may "own" in Utah (your home
for example). Invariably the chain of title will go back to a "patent"
issued by the federal government. Under your theory that the federal government
never really owned that land, then your title to that land would be defective.
Imagine how our system of land ownership would be thrown into chaos if your
theory had any validity. Sleep well tonight.
@ procur: Your argument is that the Federal government owns the land in
territories but as soon as the Federal government gives permission to that
territory to become a state, if the Federal government wants to maintain control
of some of those lands, the Federal government must purchase them from the state
that they just gave them to? The Federal government cannot retain any rights to
any of the property within the territory once it becomes a state?Did
the state have to purchase the land from the Federal government in order to
obtain ownership of it?If the state doesn't pay the Federal
government for the land, why does the Federal government have to buy it back
instead of just retaining rights to it?The Federal government
already bought the land once - that is how it became a territory of the United
States. Why do they have to buy it a second time?As stated in my
first post, all the land in the original states belonged to the stated before
there was a Federal government which is why it required purchase. Why should
the Federal government have to pay twice for the land in the new states?
ONe simple oint seems tro missed. ALL right powers belong to people
and the states,and federal government has no powers or rights but
those granted to it by the people and the states.Unfortunately for
the last hundred years, the federal government has been taking powers rights not
given to it, and extreme left cheering that on. and
continued to in these posts.The Federal government does not have a
lot powers and rights the left claims it does.Any rulings by the
supreme court not based not on the constitution itself and bad rulings that
also need correction. Using precedent is a major bad one.On top of
that the federal government did a lot of illegal and unconstitutional things
when giving Utah it's statehood, which needs to be corrected.
@Mr. Richards..... by what means have you gained enlightenment, a superior
understanding of constitutional law, than 210 of supreme court justices. The
country has acquired federal land all the way back to its beginning - its
earliest days. One of the most oft quoted founding fathers executed the first
federal land purchase Are you actually claiming to know the intent
of the constitution and founding fathers greater than Jefferson himself?
Really? It is all good to have opinions, to want a limited government.... but
really.... you should acknowledge when there is a couple hundred years of
precedent that doesn't support your interpretation.
J Thompson,I said no such thing. Stop putting words in my mouth. All
I said is that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, as it is
interpreted by the Supreme Court, not by Mike Richards, and, I should add, by
you. The Constitution means nothing unless interpreted to apply to real-life
situations. This is what the Supreme Court is tasked to do. None of us agree
with all of the Supreme Court's interpretations. For instance, I disagree
with how the Court has interpreted the Second Amendment. But I still have to
abide by that interpretation. I can't just declare the Supreme Court's
rulings invalid. So, anyway, thanks for twisting what I wrote.
@Mike Richards,I believe you're LDS, right? As a sidenote, a
part of Joseph Smith's presidential platform was that the slaves in the
South should be freed and their owners reimbursed by the federal government from
proceeds obtained by the sale of its public lands in the West. So there you
have direct acknowledgement from the Prophet that the federal government owned
those lands. That's as good as gospel, eh? ;)
News flash from "truth"..... "Using precedent is a major bad
one"So, all those rulings based on precedent.... just toss them
out. Truth has declared that this age old practice is not null and void.
Hundreds of years of law dating back to the Magna Carta ..... based on bad
law.Oh.... and news flash.... lefties are the ones using
precedent... evidently conservatives don't believe in the concept.Who knew! Thank heaven we have Truth to set the record straight.
The Tenth amendment to the US constitution says that the "powers not
delegated to the United States by the constitution... are reserved to the States
respectively, or to the people.Stop the so called environmental
groups, who receive funding from the banker/big government* monopoly who launder
their money through elite tax exempt foundations (501 3cs), from seizing the
resources of the state of Utah and it's people.* Always
remember..... big government works for Wall Street bankers who float all the
bonds that underwrite government spending programs and take their percentage on
every dollar of big government debt.