By Bill Howell and Bill Redd
It is said that the United States holds the public lands, which reside predominantly within 12 western states, "in trust." In 1976 the United States Supreme Court said that the power of Congress over these lands is both "complete" and "without limitation." In that same year, Congress made clear its intent to hold these lands in permanent federal ownership. The people are expected to accept and, in the main do accept, that "complete" and "unlimited" federal power and permanent federal ownership are legitimate characteristics of this public land "trust." The public lands make up some one-third of the nation's land mass. Thus, whatever its characteristics may be, this "trust" is one of great significance.
Since trusts are usually matters of law written in detail between trustors and trustees, it is reasonable to expect that the terms of this massive "trust" be thoroughly documented. We then ask: Where is this "trust" written? What is its object or purpose? What, if any, are the limitations placed upon the trustee for its exercise? Upon a more sophisticated level, how does this "trust," as it is now exercised, comport with the Equal Footing Doctrine, the principle of constitutional uniformity, and the federalism provisions of the respective state enabling act compacts which are set down in law as "unalterable but by common consent" of the parties thereto?
A "trust," which permits what is otherwise a constitutionally delimitated government to function as a supreme, "complete" and "unlimited" national municipal legislature over vast expanses within the confines of ostensibly sovereign and independent states without their consent, cannot possibly exist in the American system without documentary evidence of its consented establishment, a substantial constitutional history and a clear and well-understood object.
"Statehood: The Territorial Imperative" is a meticulous and long-overdue inquiry into the origins and documented objects of the federal "trust" respecting public lands. With its conclusions based squarely upon the historical record, this book challenges conventional thinking and popular belief with respect to this "trust." A compelling case is presented for redrawing the proprietary and jurisdictional map of the West so that it comports with the express terms of the Constitution and with the sovereign and reserved rights of the respective states. In sum, this book intends that this union of states, each equal one with the other as to political rights and sovereignty, be affirmed as intended by the Framers and as ratified by the states.
"This one-of-a-kind publication analyzes the origins of the federal territorial system and the relationship between that system and the States which make up the American Union." -- Mesa County Patriots
"'Statehood: The Territorial Imperative' was some 10 years in the research and writing. The principle conclusion of the book, based upon first principles, is that the federal government has no constitutional authority to retain the public lands in federal ownership and that to retain these lands in federal ownership is to deny the states equal footing with the original states as is their constitutional right." -- Mesa County Republicans
About the Authors
Bill Redd is a retired San Juan County, Utah, commissioner, having served 12 years in that role. Prior to serving in the county commission, Redd was a grocery and dry goods store owner and uranium miner. He is a graduate of the University of Utah with a degree in banking and finance, and a lifelong resident of Blanding, Utah, where he also served for a time as mayor.
Bill Howell has worked for the Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments in Price, Utah, since 1974. Prior to his term with the association, he was a classroom teacher in Seattle, Wash. He is a graduate of Arizona State University with a degree in education and general science with emphasis in chemistry and biology. He was born in Prescott, Ariz., and grew up in the mining camp of Bagdad, Ariz.
Together, Redd and Howell are referred to in Utah as "The Bills." They are known for their research and writing on the subject of "first constitutional principles as these principles relate to the origin and purpose of the federal territorial system."
- Paperback: 524 pages
- Publisher: Helper, UT: Bookcliff Publishing (2005)
- Language: English
- Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3 pounds