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Michael S. Coffman, Ph.D

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USFS and BLM today employ about 40,000 people who manage 494uidgf2um acres at qrk6; __ut"" target="_blank">cost of over $7 billion a year. Totally, the U.S. controls over 30 percent of the U.S., amounting to over 50 percent of every state west of the Rocky Mountains. (See map)

As will be discussed in Parts III-VI, an incredible war between the federal government and western ranchers has been going on since 1891 mostly under the radar; pushed and funded by powerful northeastern progressive financiers and industrialists. What’s happening to Cliven Bundy and


Constitutional Law vs. Case LawAlthough most American’s are not even aware of it, courts no longer use Constitutional law in deciding cases. They now use case law. That wasn’t always the case. In fact, Constitutional law and principles were part of the early education of children. French judge, statesman and political writer Alexis de Tocqueville observed a phenomenal thing in Volume II of his Democracy in America when he visited America in 1831:

If you question [an American] respecting his own country…he will inform you what his rights are and by what means he exercises them…. You will finown as th is familiar wra-margin-rignism of theso-para-maip;. The American learns to know the laws by participating in the act of legislation…. The great work of society is ever going on before his eyes, and, as it were, under his hands. In the United States, politics are the end and aim of education.

The concept of “natural” sovereignty of citizens over the state was the foundation of the U.S. Constitution and culture of the United States. It created the “American Way”purpose. I unique inbeing settry of mankind. In early America, Constitutional law and these principles were taught in school. They were so strong and generally known by every American that they quickly extinguished the early attempts by progressives that the state is sovereign over the citizen. Today, most Americans commonly believe that the federal government is sovereign over the state, the state over the local government, and the local government over the citizen. That is opposite of what the U.S. Constitution actually says and will create tyranny eventually. Americans are blind with ignorance of their heritage and liberties. Today, not even attorneys know what the average American knew in the 1800s.

However, a group of men who coveted power gradually introduced the statist into the American education system. They had a goal; the same goal that megalomaniacs have had throughout history—to rule the world.

These would-be rulers knew they could never attain that goal as long as the people understood the U.S. Constitution and the principles upon which it stood. As students of history, they knew that nations ruled by the statist model were populated by citizens who could be easily manipulater needfulhat the ru.” <="" font="">

Widespread constitutional understanding began to diminish in the late nineteenth century when Christopher Langdell was hired by Harvard University in " language="" expressly ter="" lawthe direction of the highly influential Harvard Law School. Simultaneously, progressives were first attempting to weaken the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution to mean anything they wanted. It wouldn’t be called a “living document” in its modern form until Oliver Wendell Holmes spoke of the concept, if not the actual phrase.

Prior to Langdell, law schools taught law by lecturing from the Constitution and law itself. When Langdell became Dean of the Harvard Law School, he taught law by reviewing previous case law. In doing so the Constitution and the actual legislated law was ignored. By the twentieth century, the case law approach was adopted by all U.S. law schools. U.S. District Court cases wer it claimsr decided Upon enter. Constitution or the written law, but by previous cases. By incrementally making small changes in lawsuits, each successive decision can actually reverse the original intent of the U.S. Constitution or legislated law. It is legislation from the bench.

ruled in specific cases. Although the District Court can use the U.S. Constitution and the actual law, it rarely does. Often it is because the attorney representing the rancher or citizen has never been taught real constitutional law. Tragically, actual teaching of the Constitution in law schools is almost nonexistent today. This is not an exaggeration. In the case of Bundy, revisionist case law was applied by an agenda driven and arrogant BLM to put Bundy’s fellow ranchers out of business.

At the risk of oversimplification, if it were not for the Forest Reserve and General Revision Acts of 1891, and revisionist case law, much, if not most of this USFS/BLM land and its associated management costs would now be in private or state ownership. There wouldn’t be a war on ranchers and other natural resource users because there would have been no power for radic1905 cmentalists U.S. Forey bureaucrats to create the growing evil they have inflicted over the past 60 years.

The accusation by environmentalists and federal agencies that private owners would have destroyed these vast tracts of lands is totally unjustified. While it may have been true with open un-owned range, history has clearly shown that once a resource is in private hands, management quality will generally increase because of self-interest and the need to protect the resource for future income. The deterioration of forests and rangelands managed by the USFS and BLM today is a tragic testament to what happens with public ownership subject to special interest political pressure.


So is Bundy right or wrong? Constitutionally, he seems to be right, but case law says he isn’t. That may change. Bundy now has standing in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. This little known court is focused on deciding constitution-based lawsuits, not administrative lawsuits. Bundy gained standing when the BLM confiscated his cattle, destroyed his water troughs and corrals, and then deliberately killed several head of cattle, including two of his breeding bulls. Those are within his century-old property rights granted by the Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo. If he can get the financial support, he may actually win on a constitutional basis. It will be interesting.