Judge Andrew Napolitano appeared on Fox News to denounce the federal government’s operation against Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy, asserting that BLM agents should have been arrested for seizing his property and that the case represents a “line in the sand” for Americans who have had enough of big government tyranny.
Napolitano said the feds were forced to back down because they had suffered a public relations nightmare, pointing out that Bundy lost his case in a federal court but that the case should have been tried in a state court.
“The federal judiciary should not be deciding what land the federal government owns,” said Napolitano, adding that the feds should have placed a lien against Bundy’s property to collect grazing fees and not conducted a raid backed up by armed agents to seize his private property.
“The government’s option is to take the amount of money he owes them and docket it, that is file the lien on his property….the federal government could have done that, instead they wanted this show of force,” said Napolitano, adding, “They swooped in….with assault rifles aimed and ready and stole this guy’s property, they stole his cattle, they didn’t have the right to do that, that’s theft and they should have been arrested by state officials”.
Napolitano also chastised the BLM’s ludicrous creation of a ‘First Amendment Area’ outside of which free speech was banned. Protesters completely ignored the zone and it was quickly torn down by BLM officials after being widely derided in the media.
“They established something utterly repellant in America, a First Amendment Zone….the square was three miles away from where these events were going – this is the federal government emasculating the First Amendment rights of the protesters,” said the judge.
Napolitano characterized the resistance shown by Bundy supporters as a clear example of how Americans feel, “enough is enough with the federal government, we’re drawing a line in the sand right here – and it drew people from all around the country who basically said ‘quit your heavy handed theft of property and act like you’re a normal litigant and not God almighty’.”
As we reported on Saturday, around 380 cattle were eventually released by BLM agents who then left the scene after a confrontation with hundreds of Bundy supporters who refused to back down despite facing threats that they would be shot dead.
However, the BLM has still vowed to pursue Bundy legally for the $1 million dollar grazing rights fee they claim he owes. Bundy asserts the land in question has been in his family for generations and has said he will only pay the fee to Clark County and not the feds.