Following up on our previous discussions in re this topic, The Salt Lake Tribune carries a story this morning reporting the latest development in Rep. Ken Ivory's American Lands Council Land-grab.
Here's the lede, Peeps:
The federal government has no constitutional authority to permanently retain millions of acres in Western states, latecomers to the federal union that have thus been relegated to "second-class" status instead of sovereigns on equal footing with the older states to the east of the 100th meridian.Read up, Peeps:
That's the conclusion of a 145-page legal analysis submitted Wednesday to the Utah Legislature by a team of outside lawyers hired to weigh Utah's legal prospects in its public lands fight with the federal government. The team urged Utah to go to court, estimating the cost at $14 million. [Emphasis Added.]
"We are a federal republic. The central government is run by the states. The members of the republic, the states, must be equal in power and sovereignty," New Orleans lawyer George Wentz told the legislative panel that commissioned the report at a cost of $500,000. Utah has been denied the promise of full sovereignty by federal policies that thwarted the "disposal" of public land, according to Wentz and his colleagues.
Citing the consultants' conclusions, the Utah Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands on Wednesday voted to direct them to prepare a complaint asserting a claim to 31 million acres of public land. It would be left up to Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes to decide whether such a case would be filed, mostly likely as a petition for original jurisdiction before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Just like clockwork, Pat Bagley nails it, no? Hold onto your wallets, O Gentle (and Ever-docile) Utah Taxpayers.