Letter To The Editor: Tom Lubnau Is Wrong On States Taking Land Back

Dear editor: The Supreme Court disagrees with Tom Lubnau's "We Can't Take Our Land Back..."

CSD Staff

October 03, 20233 min read

Supreme court 10 3 23
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Dear editor:

The Supreme Court disagrees with Tom Lubnau's "We Can't Take Our Land Back..."

“It is a well -established principle of law that all federal legislation applies only within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States unless a contrary intent appears;" "The laws of Congress in respect to those matters do not extend into the territorial limits of the states, but have force only in the District of Columbia, and other places that are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the national government."   Caha v. United States, 152 U.S. 211, 215, 14 S.Ct. 513 (1894); American Banana Company v. United Fruit Company, 213 U.S. 347, 357, 29 S.Ct. 511 (1909); United States v. Bowman, 260 U.S. 94, 97, 98, 43 S.Ct. 39 (1922); Blackmer v. United States, 284 U.S. 421, 437, 52 S.Ct. 252 (1932); Foley Bros. v. Filardo, 336 U.S. 281, 285, 69 S.Ct. 575 (1949); United States v. Spelar, 338 U.S. 217, 222, 70 S.Ct. 10 (1949); and United States v. First National City Bank, 321 F.2d 14, 23 (2nd Cir. 1963). 

USC Title 18 Rule 54c, Application of Terms, "Act of Congress' includes any act of Congress locally applicable and in force in the District of Columbia, in Puerto Rico, in a territory or in an insular possession". 

Fairbank v. United States, 181 U.S. 283, 288; "each State has full jurisdiction over the lands within its borders, including the beds of the streams and other waters, Martin v. Waddell, 16 Pet 367; Pollard v. Hagan, 3 How. 212; ... In Barney v. Keokuk, supra, Mr. Justice Bradley said (p. 338): .. “It properly belongs to the States by their inherent sovereignty, and the United States has wisely abstained from extending (if it could extend) its survey and grants beyond the limits of high water.” Kansas v. Colorado, 206 U.S. 46 (1906);  Fairbank v. United States, 181 U.S. 283, 288

"The Federal Government may not compel the States to enact or administer a federal regulatory program.” New York v. United States 120 L Ed 2D 120 (1992)

“the United States never held any municipal sovereignty, jurisdiction, or right of soil in and to the territory, of which  any of the new states were formed; except for temporary purposes” Pollard’s Lessee v. Hagan et al., 3 How. 212 (1845)

Definition of United States is 28 USC 3002(15)(A): "United States" means a Federal corporation."  Also, 18 USC Rule 54 (c)(9) “''State'' includes the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.” Note that "includes" is an exclusive term in law. Things not enumerated are excluded.

The case of United States v. Lopez[7] in 1997 held unconstitutional the Gun Free School Zone Act because it exceeded the power of Congress to "regulate commerce...among the several states". Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote, "We start with first principles. The Constitution creates a Federal Government of enumerated powers."

"...when a state is erected a change occurs. A new sovereign comes in.”  Pollard’s Lessee v. Hagan et al., 3 How. 212 (1845)


Maury Jones


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CSD Staff