A judge has ruled to dismiss the criminal charges lodged against the Bundy family stemming from an armed standoff over federal land in 2014.
In Las Vegas, Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro recently criticized the government prosecutors for “willful” violations of the legal due process rights of the defendants. The prosecutors, the Judge said, had committed violations including the failure to turn their evidence over to the Bundy lawyer, and gave the government a short amount of time in which they could submit documents that would oppose the dismissal of their charges.
And today, Judge Navarro has dismissed all criminal charges against the Bundy family with prejudice after the government prosecutors were unable to comply with her request. The government will not be able to re-file the criminal charges.
This is sure to cause excitement for state’s rights, where the federal government claims ownership to vast amounts of land, especially the in west. C’mon Utah, you’re next in line for undertaking a grand gesture to take back ownership for grazing rights.
Lead by Ammon Bundy in 2014, whose ranch is located near Bunkerville, Clark County (below), a standoff between the family and the Bureau of Land Management took approximately a month in late spring and had stemmed from years of legal issues where the Bundys had been legally grazing their cattle on federal land, but after the local desert tortoise was declared to be an endangered species in 1989, grazing rights were restricted and Ammon’s permit was cancelled in 1994. Most ranchers sold their rights back to the government, but Ammon refused until he had racked up over one million dollars in unpaid court-ordered fines and grazing fees.
In the years leading up to the stand off, Bundy’s use of federal land expanded and in 2012 the government filed United States v. Bundy to freshen up a 1998 order to deal with the new grazing. The Bundys claimed that they had inherited “pre-emptive grazing rights” because his ancestors had raised cattle in the area since 1877.
So, when the government began to round up hundreds of cattle from federal lands and they responded with a banner reading Liberty Freedom For God We Stand. Ammon spoke to the armed crowd saying that they do not recognize the BLM and that they strategized with the assumption that the federal government would being firing. Local media said that rifles were being pointed at both sides, and the situation was de-escalated when Bundy agreed to negotiations along with the new director of the BLM that his cattle would be released.