Cliven Bundy and sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy of Nevada have been vindicated in federal court after being involved in an armed standoff with the government over federal land in 2014.
On Monday in Las Vegas, Judge Gloria M. Navarro of Federal District Court dismissed charges against the three men, saying that the government’s mistakes during the case were so serious that the indictment against the Bundy family members should be dismissed.
The Bundy family case has been pointed to as an example of government overreach in recent years. The standoff happened in 2014 after the Bureau of Land Management seized cattle from Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada.
Officials had demanded payment for years of back fees for letting his cattle graze on federal land, but Cliven Bundy contended that he had water rights to the land. Hundreds of activists came out to support the Bundy family members – many of them armed – at the peak of the standoff.
How did the judge decide the case?
Navarro said that prosecutors withheld key evidence, including video footage, and threw out the case based on these failures.
“Although the outcome for the Bundy family turned out happy, the story is troubling for three different reasons,” Glenn said on today’s show, listing these three objections:
- The Bundy family members and supporters enabled the situation getting out of control; it should never have escalated to the point of a standoff.
- The government massively overreacted by bringing in a surveillance program and then tried to cover up their mistakes.
- The federal government has “zero business managing public land” in the first place.