PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Lawyers for Ammon Bundy plan to argue that the federal government lacks jurisdiction to prosecute him for the takeover of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon.
In court papers filed Friday, attorney Lissa Casey says a forthcoming motion to dismiss the case will challenge the federal government’s authority to assert ownership over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
She says Bundy intends to argue the government relinquished the land that became the refuge when it was previously deeded and homesteaded. Moreover, it lost the right to own the land once Oregon got statehood.
Bundy and his followers seized the refuge Jan. 2 and held it for 41 days in a protest over federal land policy and the imprisonment of two ranchers.
He has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and firearms charges.