The Wages of Trespass Is A Big, Fat, Penalty

Last year, I blogged about the 9th Circuit decision in United States v. Estate of E. Wayne Hage, in which the Court reversed a District Court decision rejecting United States claims that Hage had trespassed on federal lands by grazing livestock without a grazing permit.  The decision was notable for the Court’s explicit discussion of District Judge Clive Jones’s bias against the United States; the Court ordered that the case be reassigned to a different judge on remand.

This week, Chief Judge Gloria Navarro calmly issued an Order vacating Judge Jones’s findings in their entirety, concluding that Hage had no right to graze on federal land and that his repeatedly doing so was a willful violation, ordering him to pay the United States $587,294.28, and giving him 30 days to remove all livestock from federal lands.

Purely thumbing your nose at the United States government apparently only works if you are actually the President.

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