Cliven Bundy is following in the footsteps of Clinton, Bush, and Obama in
thinking a law should not be enforced when it's inconvenient for him. The
big difference? Bush, Clinton, and Obama were elected to the highest office on
the land. Mr. Bundy was not. Obama has an obligation to set an example. Cliven
Bundy does not.Turn the argument around: why should Bundy obey the
law when our politicians are allowing 12+ million illegals plus their employers
get away with far worse? Enforce the laws against illegals and I'll be
happy to send Bundy to jail, but not a moment before that.
This rancher is using tax payer land and not paying his fair share.
re: Mike Richards"If anything, the Federal Government owes the
Bundy family millions of dollars for taking property without paying for
it."& would you like to foot the bill for ALL the past due
Does a person get to use threats of violence to get property seized by court
order? "If you lose two appeals, you can obstruct justice to reverse the
I can't speak for everybody on the "right".... but I'm for
enforcing all our laws. Even the laws that apply to the Bundy situation. But
what laws are those. Do you understand the legal ins and outs of the Bundy
situation in detail?My understanding is that this case has become
very complex and there are conflicting State and Federal agencies, and state and
federal responses, and state and federal laws involved. State land under
Federal BLM administration, grazing leases, etc, can get very complex. You can
get one story from the State and another from the Feds. The Bundy
family has owned it's ranch since 1870. The question is the legalities of
the grazing rights for the past 20 years, but if he was wrong about whether to
follow State statutes or Federal statutes... what specific laws were broken?...
and what's the appropriate penalty?Feds take the ranch and put
him and his family on welfare??Who benefits from doing that... Not
Bundy... not the State... not the Feds... just the angry environmentalists who
love to see ranchers destroyed...
I'm not sure what the feds will do about the Bundy situation, but I'm
sure that whatever they do, they will "botch it", just like they always
do.BTW - as soon as I see some sort of COMPREHENSIVE illegal
immigration enforcment - I'll withdraw my wholehearted support of Bundy.I'm NOT holding my breath.
UtahBlueDevil,I don't think we're in disagreement.
I'm refuting the earlier assertion that concerns over the Purchase stemmed
from the federal government's inability to own land outside of that
specifically designated in the Constitution. That view would be incorrect - it
wasn't the federal ownership of the land, but how it was acquired that
concerned Jefferson because the Constitution gives no explicit authority to the
executive to purchase lands outside the footprint of the original colonies. And you're quite right, it established precedent which to my
knowledge has never been challenged. And it's demonstrative of the fact
that strict constructionists like Jefferson have to bend to reality, which is
one reason why I view the ideological position itself as fundamentally flawed.
Unreconstructed Reb….. two issues here. One, section 18 refers to two
things. 1) the establishment of a national capital, and the carving out of that
land from the current host states. The second part talks about the federal
government acquiring land for the described purposes - and authorization of such
by the current existing host states. Key word, existing.. That is
all that is written there. It does not prescribe what shall happen when land
is acquired but the federal government that does not belong to an existing
state. This covers just about every bit of the western expansion. No state
owned that land, and therefor the federal government was not subject to section
18.But that isn't the point here. We know Jefferson modified
his position to support what he felt was good and necessary to secure the
success of the country. That is an established fact. What is more compelling
here is what the federal government by precedent did with the land once it was
owned by the federal government. The legitimacy of the purchase is not in
question. What the constitution does not cover is land first held by the
federal government, and then becomes a state.
@JoeBlow:"What we don't have is the right to disregard laws with
which we disagree..."I would lay a bet that you violate traffic
speed limit laws likely every day every day, with your weapon called a
'vehicle.'"...and even less right to defend those
decisions with firearms."You've heard of the Minute Men,
I'll bet. They had firearms and even used them."...one
should commend Obama for making a mature, prudent decision to deescalate a
volatile situation."Yeah, he didn't want another Waco or
Ruby Ridge on his watch."Look. Either we believe in our legal
system or we don't. Either we work withing the legal framework, or we take
matters into our own hands. The question in this case is not whether we like or
agree with the law. But whether it is reasonable to take up armed
resistance."That coulda been a good speech for George
Washington, head of the Continental Army back in the day."This
is a very clear cut case. Those who advocate armed conflict in situations like
this are a huge threat to this nation."I'll bet that's
about what King George said.
"I believe the Federal government shouldn't own any land save it be for
the seat of the government"And one can make a valid case for
that argument. We have avenues in this country to challenge laws.What we
don't have is the right to disregard laws with which we disagree and even
less right to defend those decisions with firearms."The BLM
likely got a phone call from Obama..."Possibly. And if that
happened, one should commend Obama for making a mature, prudent decision to
deescalate a volatile situation."Seems he didn't wanna risk
losing the Hispanic vote."Perhaps so. Just like many of his
predecessors, including both Bushs.Look. Either we believe in our
legal system or we don't. Either we work withing the legal framework, or
we take matters into our own hands.The question in this case is not
whether we like or agree with the law.But whether it is reasonable
to take up armed resistance.This is a very clear cut case. Those
who advocate armed conflict in situations like this are a huge threat to this
nation.And they are far from being patriotic.
Mike Richards is Utah's recognized expert on Constitutional law. Why?
Because he says so.So do not argue with him.
Jefferson's concerns over the constitutionality of the Louisiana Purchase
stem from his worry about the legality of purchasing foreign lands by treaty, in
other words whether it was a constitutional action under the powers of the
executive branch, *not* whether it was within the power of the federal
government to own land. The treaty contradicted his previously articulated
views on the authority of the executive. The draft language of the
constitutional amendment he considered, the ratification of his treaty in the
Senate, and the lack of challenge to the treaty in the federal courts all bear
this out.It would behoove those who insist that opponents have a
"diluted" reading of the Constitution to understand the context in which
the document was written, the underlying assumptions it makes based on a mix of
English/Colonial common law, and the body of commentary and judicial decisions
which have issued since it was ratified. Far from diluting an understanding,
these sources of wisdom enhance it and demonstrate why the absolutist position
of strict constructionism in constitutional interpretation, as advocated by an
insignificant minority, is bunk.
It is so good to read from modern illuminates who understand the intent of the
founding far greater then ordinary people like Jefferson, who obviously had
differing opinions about the federal governments right to own land. Its too
bad they weren't around to explain the unconstitutionality of Jeffersons
actions.... and explain to him the folly in his understanding of what the
founding fathers intended.When an argument is raised over and over
again, despite the fact that there is nearly 250 years of legal precedent the
counters that reasoning... you have to give people credit for being persistent.
So many of you have forgotten your history lessons. This country is The United
States of America. Up until a territory of the country is made a state, the
property within it belongs to the combined states. Once the territory becomes a
state, it has all the rights of one of these United States, including control
and use of public lands.The rights of the states have been eroding.
The right of the states to elect senators has already been abolished. Next to
go will be the right of the states to elect the president of the United States
through the Electoral College. If we continue the trend, the Federal Government
will control everything. This was never the intention of the founders.The Federal Government owns and/or controls very little territory within the
borders of the original united states. But it owns and/or controls the vast
majority of the territory within the borders of states that gained admission
later on. It is a travesty and a violation of the principles upon which we are
Has the ability to read and understand the Constitution been so diluted that the
simple wording of the Constitution has become a mystery to government and those
who repeat the drivel of government?As WRZ pointed out, I left out
Forts, Magazines, and buildings, knowing that no Fort, Magazine or Federal
building is part of the land that the BLM controls. The Federal Government
cannot own land. It cannot "hold land in trust". Those who
cite Article IV as justification that the Federal Government can own land are
being deceived by their professors and their politicians. People own land, not
government entities. The Louisiana Purchase was illegal. Read about it. Read
what the people said. Read what even Thomas Jefferson said about the legality
of the government making that purchase. PEOPLE could have purchased that land.
PEOPLE could have asked the Federal Government to accept them as a Territory or
as a State but the Federal Government had no more authority to buy that land
than Obama has making us buy health insurance. It is clearly not allowed by the
Constitution - OUR Constitution.
@JoeBlow:"Unless Bundy is a judge, what he 'claims' really
does not matter."I believe the Federal government shouldn't
own any land save it be for the seat of the government; forts; magazines;
arsenals; yards-docks; and other useful buildings, as per the Constitution. If
the Federal government buys huge tracts of land such as Alaska, the land should
be ceded over to the state formed by the purchase."The only
reason this standoff ended the way it did, is because one side, the side of the
government, used good judgement and reasoning to keep a very volatile situation
from getting out of hand."The BLM likely got a phone call from
Obama who didn't want a Waco or Ruby Ridge on his hands just before the
mid-terms."The immigration laws have been ignored long before
Obama."Seems he didn't wanna risk losing the Hispanic
vote."Has this country become so partisan that people who take
up arms against any government authority are celebrated?"Have
you heard of the American Revolution? I think there were citizens (militia)
with arms. I'll let you guess what they were fighting for.
"First, Bundy is claiming the land is State land, not Federal land."Unless Bundy is a judge, what he "claims" really does not
matter. This has been to court multiple times. Various judges have ruled
against Bundy."I'll confess, the only thing I enjoyed about
the outcome of the situation is the embarrassment for BO."The
only reason this standoff ended the way it did, is because one side, the side of
the government, used good judgement and reasoning to keep a very volatile
situation from getting out of hand."Barack Hussein Obama sets
the example by totally ignoring immigration laws"The immigration
laws have been ignored long before Obama. He hardly "set the example".
I think the speed limit should be 90. Are you suggesting that I can take
an armed stance against someone attempting to enforce the speed limit law
because immigration law enforcement is lax?Do you realize how
ludicrous that is?Has this country become so partisan that people
who take up arms against any government authority are celebrated? Shame on those of you who feel that this is the right way to go about it.You scare me far more than any government.
@Mike Richards. The government did not steal the Bundy's land. Bundy
doesn't even argue the fact that he doesn't hold title to the land. He
just hates the federal government.
If all the "right wingers" were there, you would of counted them in the
millions. As with illegal immigration, most people, Democrat and Republican,
realize that illegal immigration and not paying grazing fees are both against
the law. Paying grazing fees is much like getting a speeding ticket,
where illegally coming here and working commits felonies.
@Stalwart Sentinel:"The irony in these two comparisons is that if the
land is not controlled by the Federal gov't as Bundy claims then illegals
should actually be able to live on that land."First, Bundy is
claiming the land is State land, not Federal land.Second, illegals
are to be stopped at the border. They should never be allowed to get into any
state. Instead, seems like Obama is letting them flood into any state they wish
and stay for as long as they wish... with little of no adverse consequences.When that land was purchased from Mexico at the conclusion of the
Mexican-American War, it should have been turned over to the state(s). Instead,
the Federal government owns 81.1 percent of Arizona.
@JoeBlow:"The Nevada grazing case is very troubling. Is this how we
are going to start resisting laws that we think are unjust?"Barack Hussein Obama sets the example by totally ignoring immigration laws.
According to US law, aiding and abetting illegal immigrants is a felony.
Perhaps the US Attorney General should work on that situation before going after
Bundy.@Mike Richards:The Constitution clearly states that the
Federal Government cannot "own" land except for the District of
Columbia: ". . . over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) . . .
"Good point, except the federal government can also purchase
other lands for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, yards-docks, and
other needful buildings... with the consent of the state legislature in which
the same shall be. (Article 1.8)Seems like the Louisiana Purchase,
Alaska, as well as lands purchased from Mexico should be owned by the various
states and not the federal government.
No doubt there are many cattle ranchers in the U.S. who would like a free place
to graze their cattle!Re:SchneeThis land dispute has nothing
to do with a solar project. No solar project was planned for this land.
Mr Bundy was clearly in violation of the law. However, I know one thing-
I'm really uncomfortable with the BLM having their own little paramilitary
force. I'm really not cool with any Federal agency having their own little
paramilitary force to include the DOE, NOAA etc. Are they all allowed to be
Judge , Jury, and Executioner now? It's scary to me that the
American left is so comfortable pronouncing ongoing debates "settled"
and apparently quite comfortable with militarized Federal agencies. The
American left doesn't want farmers to have access to water, ranchers to
have access to land, refineries to have access to oil. Do they really think you
flip a switch and magically have light and that all that food in grocery stores
just magically appears on the shelves? There's a refusal to grow up and
accept reality and it's worrisome.
Mike, if the federal government constitutionally cannot own land except D.C.,
how did the United States acquire Alaska, Hawaii, and the land covered by the
Louisiana purchase, to name just a couple of examples? How about Hill AFB,
federal courthouses and prisons, national parks and monuments, the Statue of
Liberty, etc.? Are you really saying the United States doesn't own any of
those? In a previous comment, I cited the Constitutional provision that gives
Congress the power to regulate property of the United States (Art. IV, Sec. 3,
cl. 2). Are you really saying that only applies to the District of Columbia?
The irony in these two comparisons is that if the land is not controlled by the
Federal gov't as Bundy claims (I disagree, but let's have some fun),
then illegals should actually be able to live on that land. The reasoning is
that federal laws are those that have been established to enforce immigration
law but if the federal gov't has no right to enforce duly recognized
federal laws on this patch of land as Bundy claims then that means the federal
gov't cannot enforce immigration laws there either. Wouldn't it be wonderful for this plot of earth in Nevada to become a
safe haven for illegal immigrants? I would love to see Mr. Bundy wake up to
find his cattle illegally grazing on these lands and have hundreds of thousands
of illegals setting up shop next to him. It'd take five minutes for him to
be clamoring for the "federal guvmint" to come down and arrest all those
illegals. This is yet another example of conservatives refusing to
participate in the social norms of this country and then threatening physical
violence because they can't justify their case legally.
They stole land from the Indians. But it's ok as long as the Government
does it. Deseret News censored my previous comment of my being there. The BLM
was behind all the violence there. All of those "Gun toting protestors"
were nothing but peaceful.
It is not a right vs. left issue. It is anarchy vs. the rule of law. Those who
view it differently have their own agendas.
Mike Richards:The federal government holds lands in trust for the
public, and manages those lands so that the public retains access to the lands
and pays for the use of the land. It's a balancing act, true. Ranchers are
allowed to graze their livestock on these public lands for a fee. This
diminishes the use of the land for other members of the public, and the land
must be safeguarded (managed) against overgrazing.Do you suggest the
use of our lands should be free for ranchers? Because Cliven Bundy sure thinks
he should be able to treat federal lands as his very own. If he really believes
the land belongs to the state of Nevada, why hasn't he paid Nevada those
fees?The grazing fees that Cliven Bundy doesn't want to pay? he
owes those fees and doesn't want to pay to any body. He owes $1.2 Million.
Personally, I don't think he should get to skate on those fees because he
doesn't want to pay up. If he refused to pay for his breakfast, he'd
land in jail. Where he belongs.
The letter-writer makes a false analogy between this grazing land case and the
matter of illegal immigration in yet another effort to demonize and ridicule
those who believe in upholding U.S. immigration law.
@ Mike: Then please explain Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2: "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 land and can own that land within a state.
Bundy is a criminal and should be put into jail. He decided to let cattle graze
on public lands for 20+ years despite the laws stating otherwise. He lost his
court battles. His supporters stated that they would place women as human
shields in the event the federal government attacked. Yet, there are some on the
right calling this man a hero?No wonder why the GOP is looked at as
the out of touch party.
Take it from someone who was actually there. The BLM repeatedly threatened the
lives of protestors and I was a witness to at least four incidents of them
beating and tasing people including a pregnant woman and a cancer patient. The
protestors never threatened anybody and even though they had firearms, they
never pointed them at anybody unlike the BLM who was eager to provoke a
conflict.Every single rancher in that area has been put out of
business due to the outrageous grazing fees. That story about protecting the
tortises is also a bunch of jive. This is about a land grab plain and simple.
If Cliven were to pay those grazing fees they would still want that land from
him. Harry Reid wants to give that property to the Chinese for a solar farm.
Article 4 Section 3 of the 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."Mike, your claim that "The Constitution clearly states that the Federal Government cannot
"own" land except for the District of Columbia:"Seems to
be at odds with Article 4. Please back up your claim.Have you heard
of the Louisiana Purchase? Who bought that land? And, who owned it after the
purchase?Bottom line is that we are a nation of laws. Armed
conflict is not the way that these kinds of disagreements should be handled.Those that support and encourage this type of response should be
ashamed. Is this the kind of country we are to become?
I'll confess, the only thing I enjoyed about the outcome of the situation
is the embarrassment for BO.the guy has essentially been stealing
from the rest of us for 20 years.However, if the feds would properly
give control of the lands to the states where it belongs (Madison would spin in
his grave if he knew the feds would control so much land in a state - Jefferson
would come unglued), this situation never would have happened. Maybe this is
something we need to focus more attention on giving control of the land to those
who should have it.
Illegal immigration is against the law and using Federal land illegally is
against the law. Cliven Bundy is in direct violation of the law. His case
has been heard in court for the last 20 years and the courts have ruled against
him. In a day and age when Conservatives hate people who have self imposed
entitlements. Cliven Bundy is one of those people who believes he is entitled to
the use of this land because of his ancestors. Fact remains he does not
own the land and the Federal Government can do with the land as it pleases. The
Chinese company that was to build a solar plant on that land has been debunked.
It was not the same land and it was all cancelled a year earlier. Cliven
Bundy claims he does not recognize the United State Government and in my book
that makes him a traitor. He has not paid his fees and does not recognize the
United States Government sound like he needs to move to Mexico and see how
successfully he can run his ranch. Bundy is a crook and should be in jail.
Cliven Bundy has stolen more from the taxpayers than any welfare queen ever
dreamed of. But he's a hero to the right?
I was actually pleasantly surprised to see that the FoxNews staff generally
condemned the actions of the rancher in Nevada. Even Glenn Beck sided with the
government on this one. It seems that there are certain issues that are just
so out there, that both sides can agree.
The Constitution clearly states that the Federal Government cannot "own"
land except for the District of Columbia: ". . . over such District (not
exceeding ten Miles square) . . . "If the Federal Government
cannot own land, then it cannot control land. If it cannot control land, it has
no authority to require anyone to pay fees for the use of that land. It seized
that land from the Bundy family without paying for it, which is a violation of
the 5th Amendment: "nor shall private property be taken for public use,
without just compensation."If anything, the Federal Government
owes the Bundy family millions of dollars for taking property without paying for
Motto of the right wing: Laws are for other people.
It's very simple. Self-interest trumps consistency in enforcing the law.
Cliven Bundy is one of them; illegal immigrants are foreign objects that need to
be excised."A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little
minds." Ralph Waldo EmersonThey believe in honoring, obeying,
and sustaining the law only when it suits their interests.
Neil, I guess the concept of "illegal" depends on whether or not you
like the law.The Nevada grazing case is very troubling. Is this how
we are going to start resisting laws that we think are unjust?Do we
get a group with guns together and have an armed standoff?How about
we peacefully work to get the laws changed?The saddest part is that
this case may have opened the floodgates and the GOP base seems to be supporting
and encouraging this type of response. Instead, we need our leaders
to stand up and say "while I may agree with your opposition to this law,
armed resistance is the WRONG way to go."This is an extremely
There's a different, perhaps more interesting parallel. On the one hand we
have:1. rancher vs BLM who want to use the land for a solar energy
project2. farmers vs Keystone XL who want to build a pipeline through the
plainsShouldn't... shouldn't there be some consistency in
the views regarding gov't use of land in these two cases?
I never understood why people were upset that the blm was enforcing the law.
This land wasn't bundy's and he lost two court battles. He
also essentially fanned the anti government flames by saying he would defend his
property by any means necessary, acting as if somehow there was tyranny at play.