THE REVIEW with Michael McGrady
The Bundy’s mistrial gives us the opportunity to discuss justice, property rights, domestic terrorism, cows, and civil liberties.
Some time ago, I was at a dinner with one of my former clients who currently serves in the Colorado House of Representatives and is one of the only members of the legislature who owns and operate a cattle ranch. She and I were discussing the importance of property rights and the defense of those rights which, as one would expect, led to a conversation about Cliven Bundy and his actions.
Looking intently at my drink when she started to speak passionately about how wronged the Bundys were in their proceedings in federal court, my mind was stuck on one thing.
“How do I feel about Cliven Bundy and his family?”
Watching my client (who I won’t name for respect of her privacy) defend the actions of the Bundy “militia” and spew the information that she reportedly knew from her networks (and recently validated information at that due to the mistrial) without hesitation, was inspiring.
Shortly after we reached the topic, she began to tear up a tad.
Keep in mind that we were at a busy local eatery near the State Capitol building in Denver and it was late. However, the mere act of her public swelling of tears reminded me that the Bundy crisis–and similar ones too it–are more than what the media and the “progressive” left-wing would let on.
Being a city dweller, I should mention that my admiration for people of the land–ranchers, farmers, and independent food producers–is very high.
With that mentioned, we need to consider what happens when your rights are threatened to the point that you have to take action severely. This very question was, of course, extrapolated with when Cliven Bundy, his family, and supporters resisted governmental intervention through an armed standoff with agents of the federal Bureau of Land Managment.
The Bundys knew what they were doing–not paying fees for grazing allotments and not following a series of restrictions put on the family’s Nevada ranching operation. Consequently, the standoff resolved itself and ended with the arrest of many folks involved, including Cliven. Labeled as a domestic terrorist, the media sought to sway the court of public opinion in a direction that detested the truth: a family’s patriarch broke the law to defend his property rights, his liberty, and his economic freedom.
Naturally, anyone can be torn on this issue; however, the full force and bias of the government was exposed in the declaration of a mistrial during this case. This cannot be ignored.
The Bundys claimed that the federal government maintained an active agenda to punish the family for their apparent lapse in judgment during the 2014 standoff at their ranch–and well before that. Sadly, the declaration of the mistrial reveals that federal law enforcers suppressed vital evidence–3,300 pages worth–that the judge ruled was imperative in the determination of charges and punishment sought.
Gloria Navarro, the federal judge that presided over the Bundy trial, made the right call for the sake of a concept known as “civil liberties.”
Navarro, as David French for the National Review opined, was an Obama appointee to note. And, as French wrote, “Federal judges do not dismiss federal prosecutions lightly, and Obama appointees are hardly known to carry water for right-wing militias.”
Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern approached the mistrial similarly in his latest column on the topic.
“Speaking from the bench on Monday, Navarro, an Obama appointee, declared that “a universal sense of justice has been violated” in the prosecution of the Bundys,” Stern wrote. “She’s absolutely right. What the family did was awful; what the government did next was, in many ways, just as bad. Our criminal justice system cannot operate equitably unless prosecutors respect constitutional checks on their authority.”
Just like these columnists, I agree 100 percent.
Federal investigators repressed vital evidence that validated claims that federal law enforcers abused the Bundys in many ways. [Don’t believe me? Read this.]
Nevertheless, Navarro–as I mentioned above–did the right thing in declaring a mistrial and suspending all charges in the case against Bundy, his family, and some of his indicted supporters.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the BLM, and the whole federal law enforcement apparatus showed their true colors.
Even if a criminal has violated the law without any unreasonable doubt as the Bundys did, the federal government purposefully committed a “miscarriage of justice” on the grounds of a perceived bias that would’ve violated several people’s rights to fair trial.
And hear me now. People are criticising the mistrial decision because of a public opinion that the Bundys are crazed domestic terrorists and backward country bumpkins that don’t have the same freedoms and rights as the righteous progressive city dwellers have.
News flash: All American citizens and noncitizens (legal and illegal) are entitled to fundamental human rights.
Per the Consitution, our country’s laws were built on those rights and even extend to someone who did willingly commit a crime. The Bundys, like you and I, have a right to a fair trial, freedom of belief, a right of association, and (the most important) the right of property ownership.
Liberty is built upon having these tools and protections from governmental abuses.
You don’t have to agree with what someone does in their own life–whether if it is legal or not; however, one standard that always remains the same is that one’s creator naturally endows civil liberties, rights, and freedom (if you believe in that sort of thing).
So, I leave you with this question: When will this standard ever change?
The only answer you should utter is precisely the word “never.” Society cannot survive if human rights aren’t protected and defended. Justice, indeed, is when we can avoid bias in criminal sentencing. This is why the Bundy trials are a turning point.
Conservatives and liberals, with socialists and libertarians, need to unite by civil liberties for all. Humans are still humans–no matter what they have done in the past, how they live their lives, what they believe, what they are sexually and romantically attracted too, what they identify as, or what they look like.
That is just the way things are and should remain.
Do you think the mistrial was a win for civil liberties? Were you a Bundy supporter? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!