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Recently a brief was written to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the Solicitor General of the US recommending the Supreme Court NOT hear the landmark Brandon Rinehart case. The case is about whether or not the states can create prohibitions which frustrate (or interfere) with Federal law. California has created a prohibition on mining which does not align with Federal law. This is essentially the same argument with the sanctuary cities like San Francisco. Can they tell illegals to come in and be safe in this city ignoring the core of our Representative Republic, our Constitution.
WMA, Western Mining Alliance, and one of our strongest partners found that the brief was not solely written by SG Noel Francisco, a Conservative appointee of President Trump, but with a radical environmentalist attorney, Lane McFadden who has been a part of Brandon’s legal plight and problems for years.
How did this happen? We don’t know, but in this post is a letter we penned yesterday to President Trump asking for him to instruct the Solicitor General to withdraw this absurd brief.
In our strongest language, we urge you to read this letter and click on the link below and send President Trump a message instructing him to have this brief withdrawn immediately.
Brandon’s case is scheduled to be taken to the Supreme Court on January 5th, briefly presented and then the court will decide if they will take it. I’m sure many of you are thinking: “why don’t we write to the Supreme Court”? They do not accept letters urging them to take cases or not from the general public in this manner.
We can urge the President to withdraw this brief however, and again, we urge you to click on the link, take two minutes out of your life and help the small miners and Brandon’s case.
Here is our letter:
To: President Donald J Trump December 9, 2017
1600 Pennyslvania Ave NW
Washington DC 20500
From Mr. Shannon Poe, President American Mining Rights Association (AMRA)
PMB #607, 6386 Greeley Hill Rd
Coulterville CA 95311
Subject: Follow up to your letter and draining the fetid swamp
Dear President Trump,
Merry Christmas and thank you for taking the time to respond to my letter in August. It is abundantly clear you really do care for the little guys and us in the middle class. I’d like to update you on a few of the concerns we brought forward to you, the progress on those concerns and bring to light a very serious concern within your Administration which you are likely unaware.
In those many letters to you we had outlined the moves by the USFS, BLM and the EPA in which these Federal agencies were putting the jack-boot of the government on the necks of the small miners in America via death by a thousand cuts with regulatory schemes so complex they could never be met. These regulations and their agenda have become so pervasive, it has effectively shut small mining down in California and they are actively working on shutting this down in ID, WA and OR as well both at the Federal and State level. We are not the giant mining companies like Teichert and Newmont, we are small operations which supplement our incomes from our real property mining claims our great country allows us to own to grow and supply our nation with the minerals it desperately needs. We do however represent over a million strong in the small mining community, most of which voted to Make America Great Again.
Here in California it has even reached the point where the State is threatening arrest for running any mechanized equipment to aid in the processing of material for the purpose of obtaining the minerals from their mining claims. Just a month ago, there was a CA Dept of Fish and Game officer who stated a miners truck could be construed under this law (CA SB637) to be “a mechanical aid in processing material because it is driven to a mining claim” and therefore the vehicle could be confiscated and the miner cited for mining using a mechanized process. Simply driving to a stream in California with a gold pan and a garden spoon to dig for gold is now potentially illegal. They have altered, changed and rewritten the language in some of these laws as to define and now interpret other pieces of equipment as a suction dredge. Items such as a truck, a water pump which fits in the palm of your hand and even a tiny drywasher used in the arid deserts far away from any water the size of a coffee maker. As an analogy, it would be like the state banning light bulbs, then going back and redefining what a light bulb is to include anything which creates light. Ban a lighter, a flashlight, a match, and even a candle. Threaten arrest and confiscation if you use anything they don’t like or decide to define as equipment they have illegally banned. This is the absurdity of their inherent desire to shut down industries they do not like, but give carte blanche to giant corporations who lobby and make generous donations to their political causes and totalitarian agendas. It is also abundantly clear this political ideology cares not about National Security or common sense. The American people do not want to buy their gold from China or Russia, we have plenty of it here, have economical viable and environmentally friendly ways to obtain these minerals and want a return to sanity with our regulatory environment. Under their laws, people will be wearing hemp wedding rings instead of gold bands and our electronics will be made solely with minerals mined in other countries.
You had directed the USFS to contact me and set up a conference call with the head of the USFS Geology and Minerals department, the head legal council and a few others to open up a dialogue on these issues we raised. We sincerely thank you for that and we had that conference in early October and put forth concrete evidence of illegal activity within the USFS to shut small mining down in the states listed above. Unilateral moves by USFS Supervisors illegally closing roads, using forgery to push their agendas, enacting choking regulations and completely ignoring scientific studies performed by U.S. agencies which conclusively prove suction dredging is “deminimus” to fish and fish habitat. The evidence we provided does not bring into question the word “if” these things are happening, the only questions left now are “why” are they happening and “why”are they allowed to continue to happen? Mr. Douglas (USFS) has been less than responsive to our subsequent follow up requests on an update to this investigation.
Now to my larger point. In 2009, California enacted a moratorium on suction dredging (SB 1070 and then AB 670) as mentioned in my many previous letters to you and referred to above in CA SB637. The Democrats put this California rural, economy killing moratorium and subsequent laws in place saying they needed to perform more studies on the practice which has been proven to be the most viable, environmentally friendly and economically feesible method of gold extraction from the rivers and streams. The “temporary” (now in its 8th year) moratorium ignored over 2 dozen studies which proved suction dredging is deminimus, less than significant and does not hurt fish or fish habitat. Studies which prove suction dredging removes 98% of the mercury from our drinking water. As a side note, a simple Google search “suction dredging to create habitat” will turn up dozens of suction dredging operations all across America performed by local, State and Federal agencies doing this very thing to “create” fish habitat. But in OR, CA, WA and ID, it is demeaned, disparaged and now criminal. CA Democrats, solely on party lines, jammed these laws through and now 8 years later and after millions of dollars raised and spent by the small mining community performing fundraisers and bake sales to sue the state, we still cannot suction dredge. They have obstructed every single legal method we have had, ignored Federal Law and destroyed the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of small miners. The primary legal question on all of this is: can the State create laws which frustrate Federal law?. This is a very similar argument to the sanctuary city laws San Francisco and other cities are currently doing. The states are creating laws to circumvent our Constitution and utterly ignoring case precedence and settled science to jam their agenda down the throats of rural America.
This brings me to the primary reason for my letter. In 2012, a young man named Brandon Rinehart was cited in CA for suction dredging without a permit. The state required he obtain a state permit, but refused to issue permits. Permits, to this day are still not available. It is like saying you need a drivers license to drive your car to work, but they refuse to open the DMV so you can get your license. This frustrated Federal law (the Mining Acts of 1866, 1870 and 1872) and the small mining community raised money, united, fought like hell and put their hopes into our supposedly blind justice legal system. This case has been in and out of court for over 5 years and is being presented to the United States Supreme Court in January with the hopes they will consider hearing this landmark case. Just a few days ago your Solicitor General, Mr. Francisco submitted a brief to SCOTUS claiming this case is not ripe for them to hear. After digging a bit, it was not solely written by Noel Francisco, your SG, but in conjunction with Lane McFadden on his behalf. Mr. McFadden is part of this fetid swamp and has striven to shut down small mining in California for years. Mr. McFadden is ideologically aligned with the political and totalitarian left and his brief sounds like it was written on behalf of George Soros himself. McFadden is most certainly not pro-American nor does he care about the middle class, National Security or the rule of law. Mr. McFadden has fought to shut down small miners during Mr. Rinehart’s search for justice and his brief telling SCOTUS not to take Mr. Rinehart’s case is downright reprehensible and his legal argument to do so is just plain wrong on many factual and legal grounds. How did Mr. McFadden come to co-write this brief and why is he working for Mr. Francisco? Why is Mr. Francisco agreeing with this? I urge you to seek answers about this man infiltrating your Administration and his intentional destruction of the lives of us whom this severely and adversely affects.
President Trump, we understand you are working on millions of pro-American issues like building a wall, stemming illegal immigration, growing our economy, repealing the atrocity that is Obama Care, lowering taxes and reopening our public lands, but this case with Mr. Rinehart is crucial to the middle class, National Security and the small miners in America. We are hardworking, loyal Americans who put you in office to stop things just like this, to restore America to its glory and to drain this rotting, stinking swamp of the creatures just like Lane McFadden. I urge you on behalf of the tens of thousands of suction dredgers and the million mining claim owners to demand the Solicitor General withdraw this letter to SCOTUS. The case is Brandon Lance Rinehart v the State of California.
Thank you for the significant accomplishments you have made and for listening to the people.
Shannon Poe, President/CEO
American Mining Rights Association (AMRA)
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Here is the link to send President Trump your thoughts on the Solicitor General’s brief sent to the Supreme Court.
Or click: Contact the Whitehouse