The United Land Mass of America

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by: the Common Constitutionalist

So the greenie loon website ClimateProgress has unearthed a “scandal” regarding Western state attorneys general. It seems these scoundrels are trying to sue the feds to try to reclaim, take back the land the federal government has taken over the years, including the hallowed National Parks.

They write, “On video, Colorado Republican Atty. Gen. candidate Cynthia Coffman is seen telling reporters that she intends to lead a legal fight against the United States government to seize America’s national forests on public lands for state ownership and control.”

Notice ClimateProgress uses the pejorative “seize” instead of reacquire or reclaim. It lends an air of thuggery or illegality. Tricky, eh?

They continue: “Across the West, there is a growing group of fringe politicians advocating a transfer of America’s public lands to state ownership and control.” You’ll also notice anything and anyone who doesn’t agree 100% with their agenda is “fringe”.

“Coffman’s statements align her with Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez, who is publicly advocating for the state to seize national forests and other public lands in Colorado. If both are elected, Colorado would join Utah as the second state where the Governor and Attorney General are actively pursuing state transfer proposals.”

Evidently, many side with ClimateProgress’s position. One exception being, Judge Andrew Napolitano, who other than Mark Levin, is my go to guy on the Constitution.

On Sean Hannity’s TV program last April, the two had this exchange: “Look at the percentage they [the federal government] own in Nevada, 81% Utah, 66%. Idaho, 61%,” Hannity said. “Why does the government own all of this land anyway?”

Napolitano warned: “The Constitution simply does not authorize the federal government to own any of this land. All of it is being held unconstitutionally and all of it should be returned to the private property owners from which it was taken or to the states in which it exists, period.”

Unfortunately, most don’t agree with the judge. Many, if not all “scholars” point to Article IV, Section 3, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution for proof that federal land grabs are just dandy and constitutional.

Punditfact reported that in 2007, the Congressional Research Service, the nonpartisan research arm that works on behalf of Democrats and Republicans, explored the legal roots of federal land ownership. It’s finding was unambiguous. “The Property Clause gives Congress the authority over federal property generally, and the Supreme Court has described Congress’s power to legislate under this clause as ‘without limitation’,” the researcher wrote.

Well it must be true if a “nonpartisan” service who works for Congress says their power is without limit. Everything that I’ve read by the founders would lead me to that same conclusion – that they wanted an all powerful, limitless central authority. Isn’t that the cornerstone of federalism?

Punditfact continued: “The Heritage Foundation says the same thing on its guideline to the Constitution. It provides the key text from Article IV of the Constitution. “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.”

They asked another legal scholar at Heritage, John Malcolm, if they were misinterpreting anything. Malcolm told them they had it right. “I’m not aware of anything in the Constitution that would preclude the federal government from owning land in these Western states,” Malcolm told Punditfact. They added that, “In 1911, the Supreme Court affirmed the use of large tracts of land as national forests, held in the public interest.”

But whose interest? Seems to me that is a state legislative decision. What legislature voted on it? None!

The founders were brilliant men and every word, every syllable of the Constitution was carefully thought out and crafted. In paragraph after paragraph “States are mentioned – “by the States” – “for the States” – “of the States”, etc.

Yet somehow the founders, these brilliant thinkers and wordsmiths overlooked or merely forgot the word “State” or “States” in Paragraph 3. Did they just assume posterity would “know” they meant “States” to be territory or other property? Of course not, and you’d be a fool to think so – but I guess there are a lot of fools.

If the founders truly believed what the “academics” tell us Article IV says, then why even have states? If states have no claim or hold no sovereignty over the land within their borders, why bother with borders at all? Why draw state lines?

I can unconditionally guarantee that if the Constitution were interpreted the way these justices and academics claim, there would be no Constitution. It would never have been ratified.

Welcome to the United Land Mass of America.

About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).

7 comments on “The United Land Mass of America

  1. Just exactly what is a State ?

    state
    noun
    a nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one government.
    “Germany, Italy, and other European states”
    synonyms: country, nation, land, sovereign state, nation state, kingdom, realm, power, republic, confederation, federation
    “an autonomous state”

  2. CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES section 8
    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

    • YES Ray! Wonderful. I have been wondering for a long time how it is that people consistently miss that part. When they quote that Article IV Sec 3 it CLEARLY says, “territory or Property belonging to the United States”…. That section you gave is the one that DEFINES what that property or territory IS. The fools among us and our politicians seem to avoid that simple truth. They are LYING and I detest liars.

      On the other hand, I agree with the people who USE that land currently held for their hunting and firewood, and their fear that if returned to the States – WHERE IT BELONGS – it would simply be sold on the cheap to political pals and cronies. And it would. We’ve seen decades on end of this type of criminality and cronyism by our politicians.

      At this time there probably isn’t a good answer to satisfy people who also want the use of that land but aren’t wealthy and would NOT be given any chance to own a portion of it. Can’t say as I blame them for not wanting the Feds to give it up. However, it ISN’T the Fed’s property and they don’t get to keep it. That stolen ‘ownership’ IS Un-Consitutional. So the option open is to find a STATE solution that would satisfy all and would leave RESIDENTS of those States with some ownership. Then people would be responsible for electing politicians that ARE HONEST and would keep the land dispersal and use ‘fair’. That should make all Libs happy.

  3. I am totally against transferring federal land to private or state ownership. None of us western states have anywhere near the funds to manage such huge tracts of land, so it would need to be sold off to private interests, which would lock it up.

    All of us working class people out West use federal land for a multitude of uses. We hunt, we fish, we cut our own firewood, we recreate, etc. All this would immediately disappear. Rich people only would grab all the land. Do not be fooled, this is a bad deal for the people of the Western states.

    • I agree with you RT. But the problem is the Fed. is getting out of control. I live here in Indiana, and we have one of the larger tracts of Federal land East of the Mississippi, and we know first hand the changes happening to the lands, by the environmentalist hi-jackers. Fire roads that were once left open for the public are being closed, logging that once funded road maintenance, and even established new roads has been stopped, by a misguided belief that trees can live forever. Since logging has stopped trees have become overgrown, sickly, and are being increasingly attacked by invasive pest, which has led to increased fuel loads that lead to forest fires. We are in Indiana, a non brittle, humid environment, if we worry about forest fire, what does that mean for our more arid brothers and sisters out west ? Reports of massive fires all the time, thats what. What needs to be done is all the tree huggers need to be kicked out, and our management of forestry and wildlife turned back over to our trained foresters, and biologist. The ones who have the wonderful track records of bringing back our wild places, and our wild life. The ones who use sound management based on proven science, and not Walt Disney cartoons. These bunny kisser, Walt Disney trained tree hippies are the ones who ban trapping, now Massachusetts is drowning by beavers, banning hunting, and hound hunting has now led Californians to become fast food for cougars, and here in Indiana, whenever the state or fed try to even do a maintenance cut in the forest, to curtail blight, environmental terrorist come out and drive rail road spikes in the trees. My problem with the fed is they roll over to these kinds of people, and spit on the rest of us God fearing level headed, common sense folks.

      • Yes I agree with you Joshua, sometimes federal land managers listen to the shrillest voices, but here in Montana the Forest Service is trying to do the right things. We have big problems with pine bark beetles, and they are doing a pretty good job of clearing out dead areas and fire suppression.

        There are always the ones that want to prevent anything, but the general public here is generally on the side of the professional foresters, and the obstructionists seem to be having less and less success.

        I am definitely of the libertarian persuasion, but I think in this case I will still have to come down on the side of most land remaining in the public domain. Then at least we still have access for hunting, fishing and firewood. I heat 100% with wood and put up about 10 cords a year. A lot of that comes off forest service land, and the forest is healthier for it.

        Remember, once it’s in private hands, it’s gone for good.

        • I have heard Montana has more level headed folks, wish we had some of yall here LOL, Im not liked much by all the hippies, Im a cattleman, hunter, and trapper, top it off I heat with wood, dang me LOL

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