Andy’s Newspaper column archive

Has the Fed lied about land control? ©

This Bundy thing has a long trail back to the founding of our country and the authors of the Constitution. They didn't just write words, they understood human nature and used words to limit what they found abhorrent and encourage what they considered virtuous. They wrote that no state should have an advantage over any other state and thus was created Washington D. C. It is not a state, but is a place to house the Federal portion of government with representation of all states housed there. That’s one reason there are no congressional members from the ten square miles that make up Washington D.C.

Article 1, Section 8, item 17 restricts Federal ownership of vacant land. It only allows the Federal Government to own forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards and other needful buildings. Constitution item No "17. To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles

square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings-And Make all laws to carry out foregoing powers. No. 18. To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the \United States, ot in any department or officer thereof."

When did vacant land fit this restriction. It doesn't. This then begs the question: how is it that the Federal Govenment under the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lays claim to ownership of vacant land? “Article IV, section 3 item 2 titled "Control of the property and territory of the union. 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: and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular state.”

Is there a conflict here? There’s an article that may best explain the Nevada lands and Federal Lands issue. It is a case, U.S. v. Gardner, NO. CV-N-95-328-DWH which can be found on It deals with a case similar to that of the Bundy family. It involves a summary judgement by a Federal Judge over the issue, where he decided the Feds could control State lands within State borders.

When Nevada became a state there were two documents. The Admissions Act and the Nevada Constitution. Chapter. XXXVI.—An Act to enable the People of Nevada to form a Constitution and State Government, and for the Admission of such State into the Union on an equal Footing with the original States.

Here’s the rub. The Nevada Statehood statute required the convention to adopt an ordinance decreeing and declaring that the inhabitants of the Territory of Nevada ‘forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory…Eighty seven percent. The Nevada Constitution provides that this ordinance shall be irrevocable, without the consent of the United States and the people of the State of Nevada’.

The people in Nevada supposedly disclaimed any title to “unappropriated public lands lying within said territory…” The feds, in 1864, kept most of the land in Nevada and the people of Nevada through their representatives promised not to contest it. This gave the Eastern states control of the mineral wealth in Nevada. Note that the governor of the new state of Nevada was James Warren Nye, a former Police Commissioner in New York City, appointed by Abe Lincoln. Nevada is not on an equal footing with the other states per the US Constitution.

For Nevada to become a state in 1864. The rule used to be that, for a territory to become a state, it had to have a population of 60,000. Nevada had roughly 40,000, but Nevada was pushed ahead of other candidates. Union and pro-Lincoln activists set up constitutional conventions to try to get Nevada into the Union in 1863. That attempt failed, so they came back again in to prevail in 1864. If Nevada didn’t have enough population to qualify, are they really, technically a state?

According to Steve Miller: “As part of the enabling legislation, Congress imposed conditions on the state that the Supreme Court, 19 years earlier had already declared illegal, citing the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee that new states should have ‘equal footing’ with the original thirteen. Under Nevada’s 1864 enabling act conditions, the people of the territory had to ‘forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said Territory,’ and turn them over to the federal government.”

Miller also stated: “But in 1845, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Pollard vs. Hagan, a case dealing with the admission of Alabama to the Union under almost identical language, had held that such conditions were in violation of the U.S. Constitution and therefore void.” The Court said: “We think the proper examination of this subject will show that the United States never held any municipal sovereignty, jurisdiction, or right of soil in and to the territory of which Alabama or any of the new states were formed; except for temporary purposes…As soon as new states were formed out of the territory, ‘the power of the United States over these lands and property was

to cease’.”statehood.

Another article by Steve Miller on entitled Nevada: The Permanent Colony, deals with a similar issue about the Sagebrush Rebellion In Nevada. The question is, have we been living a lie perpetrated on us by a Federal judges opinion? Demand Governor Sandoval insist that Reid fix this grievous offense to all the ranchers, the Bundy family and the Citizens of Nevada.

Note: Some references are from an article on the net by Al Benson Jr, April 18, 2014

Andrew Alberti Jr