Bundy Defense Says Federal Land is Unconstitutional

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

It may be a breach of etiquette if the judge presiding over this case were to laugh at Ammon Bundy's counsel, but one could hardly blame them.

Defense counsel for Ammon Bundy, the leader of the group that occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, is more or less arguing in court what the Bundy clan argued during their occupation.

More specifically, they're arguing that the federal government has no rightful control over federal land.

The U.S. Constitution granted "very limited powers'' to the federal government, and that once Oregon became a state, the federal government lost a right to own land inside the state's borders, his attorney Lissa Casey wrote in a court motion filed late Friday. [...]

Bundy's lawyers on Friday filed an emergency motion in U.S. District Court in Portland, seeking more time to argue to dismiss the indictments for lack of jurisdiction.


This probably sounds familiar because it's exactly what the Bundy militia and so-called sovereign citizens everywhere believe.

To say the least, it's amazing to me that a trained and presumably certified lawyer would argue that federal land is unconstitutional given that the Constitution explicitly grants authority to the federal government under the Supremacy Clause. Federal law supersedes even state constitutions.

The only way someone with even a cursory understanding could argue this is if they're also a true believer. This is not a good look for his counsel.

  • muselet

    Wow. That is some powerful stupid on display.


  • GrafZeppelin127

    There are a lot of bad lawyers out there. This is far from the worst I’ve seen, heard or read.

  • gescove

    I’m surprised that they recognize the authority of the court. The sovereign citizen types seem to believe that the county sheriff is the highest authority to decide which laws are constitutional and should be enforced. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy to know your local law enforcement are members of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.