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By Loren Edward Pearce

During the trial in Las Vegas, Nevada, the prosecutors played a video which showed one of the protestors screaming at the armed men hired by the federal government (whether they were federal contractors or employees was uncertain) that they did not have jurisdiction. This evidence submitted by the federal prosecutors, opened the door to question the whole concept of federal jurisdiction.   Unfortunately, this key opportunity was not seized upon by the defense attorneys as they apparently had already conceded jurisdiction to the federal government.  It is my opinion, that jurisdiction should have been disputed by the defense and that failure to do so was a major error.

As discussed previously, federal jurisdiction wherein there is a federal judge, on the federal payroll, managing a case for her employer, the United States government, and who was appointed by a federal executive at the request of a federal Senator, is entirely a conflict of interest.   It is impossible for her to be unbiased, or avoid the appearance of being biased, because she is ruling on behalf of her employer, her co-workers and her federal sponsors.  Therefore, the question of federal versus state jurisdiction is at the core and center of the controversy and it is tragic that it was not attacked by the defense.

Establishment of State and Federal Courts

State and local courts are established by a state (within states there are also local courts that are established by cities, counties, and other municipalities). Federal courts are established under the U.S. Constitution to decide disputes involving the Constitution and laws passed by Congress.

Judge Gloria Navarro

The irony and the injustice are that federal judge Gloria Navarro, who is supposed to preside over constitutional questions, would not permit discussion of the constitution in her courtroom, especially the 1st and 2nd amendment.  She stated that any constitutional question or violation would be handled by the federal court of appeals, not by her.  But, if a federal District Court cannot hear a constitutional question, then why do they exist?   Deferring constitutional questions to the appellate court, means more prison time for innocent political prisoners.

To add insult to injury, Navarro would not allow pocket constitutions in her court room (not the people’s court room, but hers) unless it was turned around with rear cover facing outward.  One defendant supporter was physically thrown out of the court room because his constitution was facing the wrong way.

Most crimes that occur within a state’s borders, or within three miles of its coastline, are prosecuted in state court. But some federally owned land rests entirely within one state’s borders—if a crime occurs on that land, then it’s typically a federal offense.

As the protestor in the video correctly pointed out, the land in the wash belonged to the City of Mesquite according to Clark County records and the bridge was an easement granted by the city to the Nevada Dept of Transportation.  There is no mention of federal ownership or easement.  Therefore, under the doctrine of lex locus delicti, law of the scene of the crime, the crime must be tried in the jurisdiction that owns the land.  Even if the federal government had an interstate easement through Interstate 15, the easement does not give them exclusive jurisdiction.  In other words, the federal charges should be heard in a state court first, and if the state court determines that the federal government has jurisdiction, then it can be removed to a federal court.

Federal criminal jurisdiction commonly arises where:

  • the crime occurred on land owned or controlled by the federal government (such as national parks and military bases)
  • the offense took place on a ship flying the American flag, even if it occurred in foreign waters, and
  • the crime crossed state lines or involved interstate commerce (for example, kidnapping or drug trafficking).

The federal prosecutors will argue that the federal courts have jurisdiction because the criminal charges are for violations of federal statutes.  But the defense attorneys should argue that, no, you cannot have violation of federal statutes unless the crime took place on federal land.   If the alleged violation of federal statutes occurred on state land, then the defendant has the right to challenge the jurisdiction of the federal government court, which is saturated with bias and with conflict of interest. A state court is more likely to have a judge and jury who reflect local values and local interests.

“YOU DON’T HAVE JURISDICTION...NEVADA DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION LAND, NOT FEDERAL LAND”The federal team (judge, prosecutors and marshals) tried to argue that Eric Parker and his friends came under federal jurisdiction by crossing state lines and thereby invoking the interstate commerce jurisdiction of the federal team. But, no crime was committed by crossing state lines and no conspiracy was committed as they did not know the Bundys nor were they harkening to any organized conspiracy.

The words “transportation in interstate or foreign commerce” appear in a host of federal criminal statutes. These statutes prohibit the interstate transportation of stolen motor vehicles, forged checks, prostitutes, explosives, obscene materials, kidnap victims, counterfeit phonograph records, and numerous other items. In all of these statutes the predicate for federal jurisdiction might reasonably be identified in either of two ways: first, it might require that the subject be transported across a state line; second, as the Court reads this language, it may merely require that the subject be transported during an interstate journey.  455 U.S. 642 – McElroy v. United States

Neither Eric Parker, his friends nor any of the hundreds of protestors came in response to an organized conspiracy, rather it was a spontaneous response to scenes of a woman being thrown to the ground and other acts of excessive force.  Their travels across state lines did not invoke the interstate commerce provision of the constitution because they were not transporting illegal items nor were they committing conspiracy.  Nevertheless, the federal team prevented the defense from hearing testimony from the woman thrown to the ground and other relevant witnesses.

In some cases, both federal and state courts have jurisdiction. This allows parties to choose whether to go to state court or to federal court.

There was enough reason to doubt federal exclusive jurisdiction such that the defense should have challenged it and should have taken the option to go to a more unbiased state court to determine jurisdiction.  In state court, they would have been allowed to present evidence of land records showing state ownership of the land where the cattle were impounded.  They could have also presented evidence showing that this was not a federal question because the federal government had no authority there.  They could have showed that the BLM had no constitutional roots and especially had no constitutional authority to enforce their own administrative rules and procedures.  Any court order issued by the government against the Bundys, must be enforced by local law enforcement, not the BLM.

Unfortunately, the defense attorneys did not go on the offensive by challenging federal jurisdiction and citing violations by rogue BLM law enforcers.


From Redoubt News

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  1. Great job Nancy. agree on all points. This has to be a slam dunk for Feds. If they lost this they lose unbridled power and control.
    The mere fact that the Constitution could not be referenced is reason alone for dismissal.
    The Feds will deny any chance at appeal. Most Americans do not recognize that they lose too in this kangaroo court. The Feds have basically told us that “you will get what we want to give you only when we feel it is needed and your references to your rights don’t mean squat”.
    God forbid it would have to go this way but the only way to rectify tyranny is from the barrel of guns. Our Founder’s mention this requirement as the only means to keep Liberty when faced with tyranny.

    1. “The mere fact that the Constitution could not be referenced is reason alone for dismissal.”

      Actually, the US Constitution is the Contract that judges (all who serve within our governments – state and federal) are under, are Oath bound to, and (in writing) receive the list of duties assigned to the POSITION/office/branch they occupy (not to the person) and serve within.

      Contract law is very strong. The supreme Law of our land is also strong, in writing, and has even listed those who are to enforce it, the Militia. Since Navarro broke her Oath daily, if not hourly, felony and Perjury. Since the use of governmental force is used, it is also *terrorism. Why terrorism? Because nothing in this kangaroo court has followed our Laws, their contracts and Oaths. Color of Law, which Navarro must be familiar with is used here, along with an authority she does NOT have. It probably will qualify as treason against the American people also.

      John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, charging the jury in Georgia v. Brailsford, 3 Dallas 1, 4, (U.S. 1794).: “You [the jurors] have, nevertheless, a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy.”

      Abolitionist lawyer Lysander Spooner explained the doctrine in Trial By Jury in 1852, page one: “For more than six hundred years – that is, since Magna Carta, in 1215 – there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law, than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also their right, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge of the justice of the law; and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust or oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating, or resisting the execution of, such laws.”

      John Adams: “It is not only [the juror’s] right, but his duty…. to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience even though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.”

      Alexander Hamilton: “That in criminal cases, the law and fact being always blended, the jury, for reasons of a political and peculiar nature, for the security of life and liberty, is entrusted with the power of deciding both law and fact.”

      Richard Henry Lee: “Trial by jury in civil causes,… trial by jury in criminal causes, [and] the benefits of the writ of habeas corpus… all stand on the same footing; they are the common rights of Americans.”

      Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Paine: “I consider [trial by jury] as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”

      Thomas Jefferson to Alexander Donald: “By a declaration of rights I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, trial by juries in all cases…”

      Alexander Hamilton: “The civil jury is a valuable safeguard to liberty.”

      Richard Henry Lee, proposed amendments to the Constitution, October 16, 1787: “In conformity with these principles, and from respect for the public sentiment on this subject, it is submitted, that the new constitution proposed for the government of the United States be bottomed upon a declaration or bill of rights, clearly and precisely stating the principles upon which this social compact is founded, to wit: … that the trial by jury in criminal and civil cases, and the modes prescribed by the common law for the safety of life in criminal prosecutions shall be held sacred,…”

      Treason – Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution of the United States provides:
      Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
      The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

      There are three key elements necessary for an offense to constitute treason:
      – an obligation of allegiance to the legal order, (Navarro’s position that she is occupying shows that she has obligation.
      – Intent and (because she takes her cues from the BLM shows intent)
      – Action to violate that obligation. She has been OPENLY going against her contract, the supreme Law of this land, and the definer of our government which created the position she occupies.

      But it goes beyond this, because once she violated both her Oath and Contract, she can no longer lawfully be a representative in our government.

      Brookfield Construction Company V. Stewart 284 F Sup. 94: “An officer who acts in violation of the constitution ceases to represent the government.”

      Dr. Edwin Vieira: “This has nothing to do with personalities or subjective ideas. It’s a matter of what the Constitution provides… The government of the United States has never violated anyone’s constitutional rights… The government of the United States will never violate anyone constitutional rights, because it cannot violate anyone’s constitutional rights. The reason for that is: The government of the United States is that set of actions by public officials that are consistent with the Constitution. Outside of its constitutional powers, the government of the United States has no legitimacy. It has no authority; and, it really even has no existence. It is what lawyers call a legal fiction.”

      Title 18 U.S. Code section 2381: Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

      USED TO BE – Title 18 U.S. Code section 2381: “When in the presence of two witnesses to the same overt act or in an open court of law if you fail to timely move to protect and defend the constitution of the United States and honor your oath of office you are subject to the charge of capital felony treason, and upon conviction you will be taken by the posse to the nearest busy intersection and at high noon hung by the neck until dead…The body to remain in state till dusk as an example to anyone who takes his oath of office lightly.” (Really needs to be reinstated – I wonder, if we did reinstate this, how many of those who serve within our government would straighten up immediately, or would it take action?)

      *28 C.F.R. Section 0.85 Terrorism is defined as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”.

      Color of law. The appearance or semblance, without the substance, of legal right. Misuse of power, possessed by virtue of state law and made possible only because wrongdoer is clothed with authority of state, is action taken under “color of law.” Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, page 241.

  2. I would hope the reason for AG Jeff Sessions to sit-back for the time being is to allow this case to be the example of injustice by which all future disputes concerning land management practices versus cattle ranchers et al be adjudicated properly. This court case is a sham and jury nullification will prevail.

  3. why were the defendants lawyers not advised of the jurisdiction question BEFORE trial, not in this after the fact article….seems to me OATH KEEPERS needed to get out ahead of this since many were involved in the bundy’s land defense….just asking

  4. “The irony and the injustice are that federal judge Gloria Navarro, who is supposed to preside over constitutional questions, would not permit discussion of the constitution in her courtroom, especially the 1st and 2nd amendment.”
    This despotism will have to be dealt with rather sooner than later. Tyranny and blatant corruption can’t be allowed to stand if we’re to call ourselves a constitutional republic.

    1. This action by this “judge ?” is just a taste of how sharia law will be introduced into our court system.

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