Constitutional Smoke and Mirrors: Illegal Occupation of Malheur Wildlife Refuge – Native News Online

The Hammonds and the County of Harney have neither invited nor welcomed Bundy and his group of militiamen. Nonetheless, the militiamen are referring to themselves as ‘patriots’ and are encouraging all who value the constitution to come join their fight-which directly contradicts the property clause of the Constitution. Article IV, section 3, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution states, “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 ….”  Although there are some parts of the Constitution that may seem vague or up for interpretation, this particular clause is not one of them. Additionally, the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge lies on land that was formally designated for the Paiute tribe. Conflicts in the region between Native Americans and ranchers led the federal government to discontinue the reservation in 1879 and relocate the Paiutes under Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. In 1908 Teddy Roosevelt declared the area a wildlife refuge for birds and other migratory animals.

Source: Constitutional Smoke and Mirrors: Illegal Occupation of Malheur Wildlife Refuge – Native News Online