Posts tagged ‘Harvey Frank Robbins’

Conservatives are Lost, Part 324

For those who still can't accept that the current ruling conservatives have shed any last remnants of their libertarian / small-government allies, here's this (sorry, I am a little late on this one):

The latest property rights case to hit the U.S. Supreme Court is a
doozy. Quick background: Harvey Frank Robbins bought a piece of land in
Wyoming. The previous owner had agreed in principle to give the federal
government an easement over the land. But the government agents
neglected to record the easement, so Robbins obtained the land without
it. The federal government came back to reclaim the easement, and
Robbins refused.

In the Legal Times  Tim Sandefur explains what happened next:

federal government doesn't negotiate," one official told him. Instead,
they promised that Robbins' refusal would "come to war" and that they
would give him a "hardball education." Then they began a vendetta
against him that would last to the present day.

They cancelled
his right of way over government-owned land, repeatedly harassed the
guests at his ranch, cited him for minor infractions while letting
similar violations by his neighbors go unnoticed, and brought him up on
criminal charges of interfering with federal agents during their
duties. The jury acquitted him after deliberating for less than 30

After enduring years of such treatment, Robbins sued,
arguing, among other things, that the BLM agents had violated his Fifth
Amendment right to exclude others from his property.

10th Circuit ruled for Robbins, but the federal government appealed.
Conservatives in particular should take note of the stunning argument
from U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement:

court," said Solicitor General Paul Clement in his brief, has "ever
recognized a constitutional right against retaliation . . . in the
context of property rights."