Wednesday, April 16, 2014

LOTFI: Who actually “owns” America’s land? A deeper look at the Bundy Ranch crisis

This article comes from by Michael Lofti NEVADA, April 12, 2014– Turtles and cows have absolutely no relevance to the situation in Nevada. Does the Constitution make provision for the federal government to own and control “public land”? This is the only question we need to consider. Currently, the federal government “owns” approximately 30% of the United States territory. The majority of this federally owned land is in the West. For example, the feds control more than 80% of Nevada and more than 55% of Utah. The question has been long debated. At the debate’s soul is Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution, which is know as the “Property Clause”. Proponents of federal expansion on both sides of the political aisle argue that this clause provides warrant for the federal government to control land throughout the United States. The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States…. Those who say this clause delegates the feds control over whatever land they arbitrarily decide to lay claim to are grossly misinterpreting even the most basic structure of the Constitution. It is said the Constitution is “written in plain English”. This is true. However, plain English does not allow one to remove context. Article IV does not grant Congress the power to exercise sovereignty over land. Article IV deals exclusively with state-to-state relations such as protection from invasion, slavery, full faith and credit, creation of new states and so on. Read more here.


Anonymous said...

Thanks to whoever is keeping this going, while the main site gets fixed!

Hill, Bill E.

HappyClinger said...

The term "United States" was used by our founders to designate the federal government. The key phrase is "territory or other property belonging to the United States," as opposed to the designation "the several states." So, the Article in question says basically that the feds can only control the property they are allowed to own, and that is restricted to DC, military installations, offices...whatever is designated in the Constitution. Since the states are sovereign, this would NOT include land in the "several states."