Recent events in Nevada have raised the issue of state sovereignty and right to land over the federal government’s decade’s long acquisition of public lands by force and intimidation.
After wading through the sensationalism surrounding the Bundy Ranch incident with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) it becomes abundantly clear that through federal agencies, the US government is in the business of taking land that belongs to private individuals and states without clear explanation as to their legal right to do so.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is facing the BLM head on; writing a letter to Neil Kornze, director of the BLM, to demand legal justification for their claim that 90,000 along the Red River currently held by Texas can be usurped by the federal government.
It is evident by their own admission that the BLM are using Resource Management Plans (RMPs), Management Framework Plans (MFPs) and supporting Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) to justify their land-grab initiatives across the nation; essentially stealing sovereign state lands for federal governmental agendas.
Four years ago, the Obama administration reversed a policy enacted by the former George W. Bush administration which released millions of under developed acres of land to be allocated to federal wilderness protection.
With the assistance of environmental groups lobbying for the restoration of wilderness areas for protection, the Obama administration began reviewing an estimated 220 million acres for the BLM to assert oversight for under nomination as a “Wild Lands” protected area.
Armed with detailed measures for land use under a new plan, the BLM began designating wild land areas with the assistance of the public planning process (PPP).
In 2010, leaked documents from the Obama administration detailed how the president had chosen 14 sites in 9 states “for possible presidential monument declarations.”
Areas in states that were given this special designation include:
• New Mexico
• Washington State
In Washington State, attorney Scott Stafne has become quite popular with attorneys inquiring about states’ rights against the BLM and as the issue pertains to foreclosures and seizure of private property from homeowners by the banks.
In the case United States v. Fox , it was “established principle of law, everywhere recognized; arising from the necessity of this case that the disposition of immovable property … is exclusively subject to the government within whose jurisdiction the property is situated.”
According to the US Supreme Court, “the several states of the Union possess the power to regulate the tenure of real property within their respective limits, the modes of its acquisition and transfer.”
Under the United States v. Crosby and Kerr v. Moon , it was established as “an acknowledged principle of law, that the title and disposition of real property is exclusively subject to the laws on the country [State] where it is situated, which can alone prescribe the mode by which a title to it can pass from one person to another.”
In Arizona v. United States , it was asserted that under Federalism, “both the National and State governments have elements of sovereignty the other is bound to respect.”
James Madison explained in the Federalist Papers that “the division of power between national and state governments would check abuses of governmental power.”
Madison furthered this contention by saying “[i]n the compound republic of America a double security arises to the rights of the people. The different governments will controul each other; at the same time that each will be controuled by itself.”
Thomas Jefferson was quoted by Deborah Jones Meritt as stated in a letter written in 1816: “[T]he way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent to . . . . It is by dividing and subdividing these republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations, until it ends in the administration of every man’s farm by himself; by placing under every one what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best . . . . The elementary republics of the wards, the county republics, the State republics, and the republic of the Union, would form a gradation of authorities, standing each on the basis of law, holding every one its delegated share of powers, and constituting truly a system of fundamental balances and checks for the government.”