OPINION: The Goading of The West In the Crossfires of Constitutional Confusion

Jacen Brewer

Free Range Report Contributor 

Part 1 of 2

Amid the billions of messages in the world today, one stands out from among a crowd as being quite plain and yet profound, and that is that,

                           “Even the nicest people have their limits”.  

Certainly this statement would include Jesus of Nazareth when he braided a whip and turned the tables over on the money changers at the temple in Jerusalem. It includes those who took a stand against King George III as they opted, without previously being driven to the extremes, to risk their lives on behalf of the birth of the United States of America.

Such a statement also applies to those amid the otherwise friendly and neighborly communities in the Western states who have experienced an unconstitutional arrogation of powers by the federal government. They’re witnessing a violation of clear principles outlined in the Constitution, specifically within Article IV wherein state powers are defined. Simply put, too many federal cooks are now in states’ kitchens. The federal government has falsely and imperialistically indulged itself with Constitutional negligence in the West while intentionally neglecting the enabling acts of the Western states for decades.  

“The federal government has falsely and imperialistically indulged itself with Constitutional negligence in the West wile intentionally neglecting the enabling acts of the Western states for decades.”

I’m going to unload here with my candid views that I’ll take to the grave if I need to. My credentials include an entire life of experience regarding tensions between western states and federal overreach in the west.  

There is no Constitutional authority for the federal government to retain, nor manage, nor dictate over land and natural resources amid any of the United States of America, east or west, beyond what is contained in Article I Section 8 Clause 17 in the U.S. Constitution.

Questions about process and ethics may vary, but law must be clear, and law is not opinion. In the United States, the judicial branch is required as well to interpret laws as indifferent permission that it has been given by the people through the legislative that the people have endorsed. Clearly the American form of government, when it is placed beyond theory, is one, ‘for’, ‘of’, and by ‘the people’.   We need to do away with philosophies that have drifted us into oligarchical instabilities.  The framers made every effort to protect ‘We the People’ from slipping into an oligarchical dictatorship.   

Yet, at the time of this article there is clearly a prejudice of the states that violates Article IV Section III Clause I wherein the language could not be more clear that, “no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state.”   So why is more than 80 percent of the Western U.S. being managed and/or retained under a federal usurpation of enabling acts that have been blatantly ignored from an estranging Washington D.C.?

Directly following that portion of the constitution we read that, “Congress shall have power to dispose of” let’s emphasize that the word “dispose” is opposite of “retain” as this paragraph continues to outline the conditions of “territories”, not states, then becoming states with their appropriate borders and sovereignty.  Further, and proximate then to this Constitutional writ, we read that, “nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular state.”

Article IV of the Constitution is far from being ambiguous about designated parameters amid state boundaries of both land, resources, and power.  

The constitutional rationale, however, is literally endless, and so is the ignorance by which the arrogation of powers and of land(s) which the federal government has somehow assumed authority in the West.  

Such ambiguities and perplexities culminated in imprisonment for a ranching family in Oregon named the Hammonds, intimidation and occupation for a ranching family in Nevada named the Bundys, and violence to the husband of a widow named Finicum.  Without due process of law, and actions resulting in the shedding of innocent blood, the Finicums, a ranching family from Arizona daily face the void filled, not so long ago, by their father, grandfather, and foster father, LaVoy Finicum.

LaVoy Finicum joined other ranchers who went to Oregon on New Year’s Day, and occupied an empty federally-owned building at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, in protest of the imprisonment of the Hammonds. Among many others whose voices had been ignored, LaVoy Finicum’s life was taken under the hands of an illegal kill stop by FBI agents and Oregon State Patrol officers in an operation under the direction of the Bureau of Land Management, in January of 2016.  

Could the overreaction by federal officers and desperate measures by those who went so far as to take that which was more valuable than property in the life of father, husband and decent man, LaVoy Finicum, be more obvious?  Do these federal entities really think that We the People aren’t paying attention?

Look for part 2 of 2 to follow 

Jacen Brewer is a writer, filmmaker, father, husband, professional horse trainer, and hoof practitioner, avid guitarist, outdoors-man, and adventurist. He’s a practicing citizen of the United States of America, not by birth only. He and his wife reside near Cedar City, Utah with their son Laszlo, two horses, two dogs, and a rooster named Sylvester. 


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