Fox commentator explains what probably will happen next in the Bundy saga

Cliven Bundy addresses crowd. (R-J photo)

Judge Andrew Napolitano on Fox & Friends today explains what the government did wrong in trying to impound Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle and what they should have done.

As I mentioned Monday, the way to handle a civil judgment is not to send in an invading army but to sit down at a computer somewhere in a government cubicle and file a lien against Bundy’s property.

I wonder how many desert tortoises, just coming out of hibernation, got stomped to death in this fiasco. This is the very time of year the BLM told Bundy he could not graze his cattle on the Gold Butte range because they might step on baby tortoises — a contention that has been proven false.

As for why Harry Reid would have any knowledge or say in any of this is another mystery. But he told a Reno television station Monday: “Well, it’s not over. We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over.”

Federal Judge Lloyd George dismissed out of hand Budy’s states’ rights arguments:

“Bundy principally opposes the United States’ motion for summary judgment on the ground that this court lacks jurisdiction because the United States does not own the public lands in question. As this court previously ruled in United States v. Bundy, Case No. CV-S- 98-531-JBR (RJJ) (D. Nev. Nov. 4, 1998), “the public lands in Nevada are the property of the United States because the United States has held title to those public lands since 1848, when
Mexico ceded the land to the United States.” CV-S-98-531 at 8 (citing United States v. Gardner, 107 F.3d 1314, 1318 (9th Cir. 1997)). Moreover, Bundy is incorrect in claiming that the Disclaimer Clause of the Nevada Constitution carries no legal force, see Gardner, 107 F.3d at 1320; that the Property Clause of the United States Constitution applies only to federal lands outside the borders of states, see id. at 1320; that the United States‘ exercise of ownership over federal lands violates the Equal Footing Doctrine, see id. at 1319; that the United States is basing its authority to sanction Bundy for his unauthorized use of federal lands on the Endangered Species Act as opposed to trespass, see Compl. at ¶¶ 1,3, 26-39; and that Nevada’s “Open Range” statute excuses Bundy’s trespass. See e.g., Gardner, 107 F.3d at 1320 (under Supremacy Clause state statute in conflict with federal law requiring permit to graze would be trumped).”

Instead of ordering a lien on Bundy’s property, George concluded “that the United States is entitled to seize and remove to impound any of Bundy’s cattle for any future trespasses, provided the United States has provided notice to Bundy under the governing regulations of the United States Department of the Interior.”

George cites a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling against Humboldt rancher Cliff Gardner, who argued that the state Disclaimer Clause violated the Equal Footing Doctrine and cited the 10th Amendment — to no avail.

The court also dismissed his argument about the Guarantee Clause of the Constitution:

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.”

Gardner was jailed for a month and fined $5,000.

6 comments on “Fox commentator explains what probably will happen next in the Bundy saga

  1. Winston Smith says:

    When federal judges are beholden to Big Government, it’s rare that any will support the Founders’ Constitutionally-based principles of small government. Especially since 1861.

  2. nyp says:

    Yeah, that’s when that tyrant Abraham Lincoln took office.

  3. You’re fighting a losing battle when you ask the federal government to define the limits of it’s own power. That’s what has happened here.

  4. Winston Smith says:

    Since the states created the federal government with limited, delegated powers through the Constitution, they rightfully should have retained control over D.C. power, as the long-ignored Ten Amendment stated.

    Petey, you’re finally getting it, congratulations!

    War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength

  5. Athos says:

    Where is the law enforcement officer with a spine????? There are several serious crimes of corruption and misuse of public office, and NO ONE is doing anything about it!

    “Senator Harry Reid, who has major interests in nearby land as he negotiates with the Chinese to develop green energy on Nevada soil, has created even more tension by publicly declaring the feds will be back. The fed is indeed looking more and more likely to return, but the Bundy Ranch is more and more likely to be much better prepared.”

  6. […] Now that the federal standoff with Cliven Bundy over his grazing cattle on public lands without paying grazing fees is at a hiatus, perhaps it is time to once again look at a couple of aspects of the legal arguments. […]

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