Fox News' senior judicial analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano, explained on TheBlaze TV's Dana Friday how the federal government managed to snatch "defeat out of the jaws of victory" on the controversial Nevada rancher case.
"The problem here is that the federal government -- as is typical when it wins its case -- has overplayed its hand and has completely turned the dynamics in which it won, into a case in which it's probably going to lose, because of the manner in which it's enforcing its victory," he explained.
Napolitano described how the Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy, has claimed the land on which he was grazing his cattle belonged to the state, not the federal government, and that's why he chose not to pay federal grazing fees.
"A federal court decided that it belonged to the federal government, and that position was upheld on appeal," Napolitano said. "Now, that is a decision that never should have been made by a federal court, for two reasons. The federal government should never be in a position in which it is deciding on the extent of its own power ... And secondly, when you have a dispute over real estate, there's a universal principle of law everywhere in the United States of America ... that real estate disputes are resolved by state courts."
Nevertheless, Napolitano added, the federal government won and the decision was upheld.
"At that point the federal government could've won," Napolitano said. "But instead of docketing the judgement, instead of taking that piece of paper and filing it in the courthouse and waiting for Mr. Bundy to pass the property on to someone else ... it decided to use brute force to enforce its judgement, and that's when the entire dynamic turned around."
Napolitano said that the Bureau of Land Management, which is "supposed to be a bunch of bureaucrats" preserving land for the "future enjoyment of all Americans" quickly became "a group of thugs dressed in military uniform with loaded M16s pointed at a rancher and his family."
"By doing all of that, they have succeeded in snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory," Napolitano said.
The judge concluded: "With respect to Bundy, he's lost. But in the hearts and minds of Americans he's won, because he has resisted the uber-aggressive enforcement by the federal government of their victory in court."
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