Cliven Bundy's family homesteaded land in eastern Clark County, Nevada, in the 1870s. He has farmed and run cattle on B.L.M. (U.S. Bureau of Land Management) land for decades. But there is a drought in the West, and the B.L.M. decided back in 1993 to cut back on damage from cattle grazing by cancelling grazing contracts that endangered a species of tortoise. Farmer Bundy refused to remove his herd and he also decided to forego payment of the ridiculously cheap grazing fees, which got him in trouble with the law.
(Grazing fees on federal land across America are often a dollar and a half or less per month per 'cattle unit', which might be a steer, or a cow and calf, or a horse, or four sheep, or some other equivalent.)
The recent events at Bundy's ranch forced the B.L.M. to back down and turn the rounded-up 400 head of non-permit cattle loose. Bundy spouts right-wing parsiflage, the Koch Brothers's Americans for Prosperity lobbying group is supporting the armed militia in backing Bundy up, and the militia brought women and children along to use as cannon fodder.
The Koch Brothers have an interest in the issue because they operate three cattle ranches: Matador Ranch in Texas, Beaverhead Ranch in Montana, and Spring Creek in Kansas. Forty percent of the Koch Industries half-million-acre cattle operation is on land leased from the federal government.
But farmer Bundy's arguments have holes that you could drive a chuck wagon through. Bundy's statement that he does not 'recognize' the federal Constitution makes him a traitor at the outset; Bundy's statement that he only recognizes the Nevada State Constitution makes him a fool, because the Nevada Constitution makes him a liar - and he and his protective army of outlaws figure nobody is going to actually read the Nevada Constitution.
Even if Bundy is illiterate, that is no excuse: he should have somebody read the Nevada Constitution to him.
The text of Article 1, Section 2 of the Nevada State Constitution, reads as follows (cut-and-pasted from the Nevada state website, highlights added):
Sec: 2. Purpose of government; paramount allegiance to United States.
All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the people; and they have the right to alter or reform the same whenever the public good may require it. But the Paramount Allegiance of every citizen is due to the Federal Government in the exercise of all its Constitutional powers as the same have been or may be defined by the Supreme Court of the United States; and no power exists in the people of this or any other State of the Federal Union to dissolve their connection therewith or perform any act tending to impair, subvert, or resist the Supreme Authority of the government of the United States. The Constitution of the United States confers full power on the Federal Government to maintain and Perpetuate its existence, and whensoever any portion of the States, or people thereof attempt to secede from the Federal Union, or forcibly resist the Execution of its laws, the Federal Government may, by warrant of the Constitution, employ armed force in compelling obedience to its Authority.
For the dense, here are the facts: fealty or loyalty to the Nevada Constitution requires paramount loyalty to the federal government. Farmer Bundy is a traitor, and the paid, armed militia surrounding him are traitors, and hiding behind women and children at their camps and along the freeway makes them cowards.
Personally, I suggest that Nevada's governor send in the National Guard - tanks, whatever is needed - and surround and arrest the whole bunch. The Koch Brothers can afford to pay them while in jail, and the 'signal' will be that the Nevada Constitution is enforceable.
The other option is anarchy, where the law simply does not matter.