An article in a Sunday Arizona Republic titled, Gosar, Grijalva on opposite sides of the fence, about the Bundy family grazing cattle on federal lands in defiance of the bureau of Land Management quotes a putative “expert” on public-land policy, Michael Blumm, as saying, “The law is fairly clear: The federal government has the Constitutional power to own and to manage its lands.”
Where does the United States Constitution delegate that general power to the federal government?
The Constitution authorizes the federal government to own and manage land ceded to it for a seat of government (Washington, D.C.) and to own and manage land purchased with the Consent of a State Legislature “for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, Dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings”. Period. Nothing is said about huge percentages of the Western states being owned and managed by the federal government for which it pays the states a pitiful PILT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes).
The 10th Amendment prohibits the federal government from doing anything for which the power is not delegated to the federal government. If “numerous Courts” have shot down claims that the States should gain control of federal lands, as Blumm claims, then this proves that numerous federal court judges are incompetent as to the U.S. Constitution, a suspicion I have long held.
Donald L. Cline