In Nevada, on January 8, 2018, U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed felony charges against Cliven Bundy and his sons arising from the 2014 Bundy Ranch Standoff. In dismissing the case, Judge Navarro issued strong statements against federal prosecutors for their “reckless disregard for Constitutional obligations,” in withholding evidence from the defense, and violating “the universal sense of justice.”
Cliven Bundy and his sons once again exercised their Constitutional right to challenge government actions they deemed unconstitutional. Outside the courthouse after the dismissal, the elder Bundy said,
“My defense is a 15-second defense: I graze my cattle only on Clark County, Nev., land and I have no contract with the federal government.” … “This court has no jurisdiction or authority over this matter.”
Although federal jurisdiction over public land and over “trespassing” in public land might be a good case for another trial, the Bundys in this trial once again affirmed what our Founding Fathers intended – it is the duty of the People to ensure that when government ceases to be the People’s servant and protector of the People’s liberties, it is challenged by the People.
The trial of the 2014 Bundy Ranch Standoff might indeed be the “Trial of the Century.” That is, if the trial ever occurs, pertinent evidence and discoveries are properly and timely presented by the prosecution, and the judge sticks to procedure not politics. So, let’s see what happens on December 20, when the trial is supposed to resume.
Obviously, the judge needs to focus on the Bureau of Land Management and the FBI charges against Cliven Bundy – more than $1 million in unpaid grazing fees, cattle still grazing for free, and an armed standoff when the BLM and FBI came to remove the cattle from land under federal administration.
However, what is really at stake is not whether Cliven Bundy owes the money; or whether he, his sons and their allies are “domestic terrorists;” or whether ranchers need to remove their cattle from grazing land so no desert tortoise will be cramped for space. What is at stake are bigger issues: Who has rights to the land? By what right does the federal government still own 47% of the West and most of Nevada? Was it lawful for the federal government to repeal the Homestead Act? Or is it lawful for the federal government to ignore the traditional concept of “beneficial use?”
Side Issues of Interest
What is a racist, a Fascist, a supremacist, or a domestic terrorist these days? It’s whatever willing fools say it is. Perhaps we should view with a jaundice eye claims that Clive Bundy, his family and his allies are anti-government.
To liberty-minded people, government means what the Founding Fathers created, a system whereby states have all the powers not specifically granted to the federal government by the Constitution: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
So, who is anti-government in the Bundy Ranch Standoff case? Who is upholding the 10th Amendment of the Constitution?
Ryan Bundy States His Case
Ryan Bundy, a defendant in the case acting on his own defense, stated his view in his opening statement on November 15, 2017. It is important that all liberty-leaning people read Ryan Bundy’s statement and understand the concept of sovereignty. Here is a highlight. You can read the entire statements on several websites. We recommend The Oathkeeperswebsite.
“To have rights you must claim, use and defend… man only has rights he is willing to claim, use and defend. There is a difference between rights and privileges. Rights you own. Privilege is afforded. Like renting or owning a house. Government asserts there are no rights, only privileges and unless we pay, we can’t be there. The State of Nevada says differently. These are my father’s rights. Everything we have comes from the land. That is wealth, not the dollar bill. The things we use all come from the land. Who controls the land, controls the wealth?
We create government to preserve and serve us. These are some of the beliefs of my family. That we have said we will do whatever it takes to defend is not a threat, it is a statement. Being right here before you today is part of doing whatever it takes. The Founding Fathers pledged whatever it would take… their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor, to defend rights.”