A welcome smackdown to federal prosecutorial overreach:
A jury Thursday delivered a stunning across-the-board acquittal to the leaders and participants in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation and a remarkable blow to the federal government as it tries to tamp down a national movement led by a Nevada family to open public lands to ranchers, miners and loggers. The verdicts finding Ammon Bundy, older brother Ryan Bundy and five others not guilty of a federal conspiracy drew elation from defense attorneys who spent five weeks arguing that the armed takeover amounted to a time-honored tradition of First Amendment protest and civil disobedience.
I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t, in part, a consequence of the total refusal of the local, state, and federal authorities to respond in any serious matter to all the Black Lives Matter protests this summer.
The one thing is clear is that white people across the country are increasingly beginning to understand that the federal government and its agencies are not on their side. The days of using the equivalent of “broken taillight” laws to lock up enemies of the state may be coming to an end.
It certainly was the right verdict, considering that the “crime” of which the men were actually accused was a conspiracy to prevent federal employees from going to work.