Mountain States Legal Foundation Logo
Action Update


2014 Election Ends, Purportedly With “Anti-Obama Wave”— Republicans “Control” Congress But Obama Is Unrepentant. Meanwhile, Threats To Liberty Remain; MSLF Fights Back!

Dec 01, 2014 | by William Perry Pendley

The 2014 Election is over and brought with it a so-called anti-Obama wave that swept into office scores of Republicans who will populate a 114th Congress with the largest GOP majority since the 1920s.  Meanwhile, Obama remains unrepentant, committed to continuing as he has for six years during which, as one liberal law professor put it, he “exceeded his authority,” which created “a constitutional tipping-point.”  Worst of all, says the law professor who supports all of Obama’s policies, “the two other branches appear not just simply passive, but inert in the face of this concentration of authority.”   

What mischief will transpire in the days ahead during the lame-duck Congress remains to be seen.  What the result will be of the battles between the new Congress and President Obama is unknown.  Whether our system of government, which has protected our liberties and the rule of law since its creation by the Founding Fathers in 1789, will survive is up in the air.

One thing is certain.  As MSLF has learned in the nearly four decades since its creation in 1977, threats to liberty and the rule of law will continue regardless of who stands in the White House or serves in Congress!  Those officials, to quote James Madison, are not “angels.”  Because of “human nature,” there will be “abuses of government.”  As it has always done, MSLF must fight back against these abuses, whether by the Executive or Congress.

Moreover, given the size of the bureaucracy, the laws and regulations on the books (one professor says every American could be indicted by federal prosecutors for “three felonies a day”), and the presence of hundreds of free federal lawyers to defend an agency’s every action, Americans are constantly at risk that they will be victimized by a ruthless and lawless government.

In 1992, for example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared that arid lands owned by Dr. Larry Squires of Hobbs, New Mexico, were “waters of the United States” because birds landed in ponds created by occasional heavy rains.  MSLF’s challenge of the “wetlands” designation was dismissed because it was not final although Dr. Squires faced $125,000 a day in fines!  A federal appeals court ruled Dr. Squires’ inability to challenge the EPA without paying hundreds of millions of dollars in fines or going to jail was not “constitutionally intolerable.”  Incredibly, this was the fate suffered by all landowners targeted by the EPA, at great and almost incalculable cost in personal and financial terms, from 1977 to 2012—35 years—until the U.S. Supreme Court, at MSLF’s urging, unanimously ended this specific abuse!

Just think of it, for four decades, seven presidents, hundreds of federal court judges, and thousands of members of Congress simply looked the other way as the EPA unconstitutionally stopped economic activity, stifled land use, and seized private property to the lifelong detriment of American citizens, all so as not to “undermine the EPA’s regulatory authority.”  That is until private citizens, like MSLF’s Dr. Squires, decided to challenge the EPA.

Over the decades, MSLF litigation, on behalf of private citizens unable to hire lawyers to fight back for liberty, has demonstrated both the arrogant refusal of official Washington to obey the Constitution and observe the rule of law as well as the necessity that MSLF fight for the Founding Fathers’ vision.   

In 1989, MSLF filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of awarding government contracts on the basis of race.  The litigation went on for a dozen years and required three MSLF appearances at the Supreme Court of the United States.  The government’s position, regardless of who was in the White House, remained unchanged:  it opposed the relief sought by MSLF’s client and argued that race-based decision making does not violate the Constitution’s equal protection guarantee.  This battle continues today!

In 2006, MSLF filed a lawsuit for a Wyoming man whose land the federal government coveted.  For eight years and before five federal courts, MSLF fought back.  The federal government’s position remained what MSLF’s client was told by federal officials and the U.S. Attorney’s office in 2006:  you got it; we want it; we will get it.  This year, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 for MSLF’s client.  Unfortunately, federal officials’ hostility to private property rights, as shown by this case, is evident in MSLF lawsuits across the country.

In 2014, MSLF sued for a Louisiana man who won a 1982 federal oil and gas lease.  After protracted National Environmental Policy Act review, seventy-six (76) appeals, and an Interior Board of Land Appeals ruling, his 1983 application for permit to drill was granted in 1993, but for the next 30 years, no matter who was in the White House, he was stonewalled.  When MSLF demanded he be able to use his property, federal lawyers argued the judge may not tell a cabinet officer what to do!  Unfortunately, this is typical. 

Today from coast to coast and border to border, MSLF:  battles against Endangered Species Act abuses that threaten vast regions of America; fights illegal designation of “wetlands” and seizure of property; challenges federal and state bans on the Second Amendment right of all law-abiding citizens to   defend themselves; opposes unilateral action by the Executive to put federal lands off limits to lawful uses by the American people; contests the claims by federal land managers and their allies in environmental groups that they are above the law; and attacks unconstitutional federal affirmative action, racial preferences, and race-based decision-making.

As a supporter of MSLF, you know this summary does not list all MSLF litigation, let alone the soon to be revealed outrages against citizens to which MSLF will respond.  You know that only MSLF—not elected officials regardless of party—can defend constitutional liberties and demand compliance with the rule of law.  Thank you for your wonderful support of that work by MSLF!



Help protect constitutional liberties and private property rights, and promote limited and ethical government and the free enterprise system:

Donate Here