Remember those idiots who took over a bird sanctuary in Oregon a few months ago because they claim that the federal government has no authority to own any land in any state? So a bunch of armed yahoos took over a bird sanctuary in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. It lasted for a few weeks, one of the gunmen was killed by police, and 27 others were charged with various felonies for the armed insurrection.
But apparently the crux of Ammon Bundy’s defense is a question of land ownership.
In a motion filed Friday, Bundy’s lawyer, Lissa Casey wrote that the federal government has no constitutional authority to own any land in any state, and therefore lacks jurisdiction in this case. What they’re claiming is that any land the federal government had owned in Oregon before Oregon became a state would have been transferred to the state of Oregon on February 14, 1859.
So since the federal government doesn’t own the Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge, the federal government had not authority to arrest nor charge these armed gunmen with any crimes. It’s a states’ rights issue. The Bundy’s attorney wrote that they will use the Enclave Clause as proof that ownership of the public lands in Oregon should be under the jurisdiction of the state rather than federal government once Oregon become a state in 1859.
“Jurisdiction,” Casey wrote the court, “in this case will determine whether the Federal Government can prosecute protesters for being there at all.”
Do these guys really think they’re going to abolish the entire national parks system? And all this because Ammon Bundy’s dad wants to graze his cattle for free on public land? We’re going to give up Yellowstone National Park and every single park in this country, because these wing nuts think they found a glitch in the Constitution.
But let’s pretend that these guys are correct, that the federal government has no business owning national parks – that it should all be left up to the states. Does that necessarily mean that any group of numbnuts with guns can just take over tracts of public land and make it their land that they patrol with guns to keep people out? Does it say in the Constitution that any public land is automatically owned by Ammon Bundy and he can do whatever he wants with it?
It sounds like these guys are going to prison.