JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO: The rancher lost the case. I don't know if the case was fair or not, but he lost and he lost the appeal. We'll assume for the sake of argument that the loss and the appeal were accurately decided. The government's option is to take the amount of money he owes them, and docket it. File the lien on his property, which is the same thing you would do if I owed you money and refused to pay it. You can't seize my property, but you can docket your judgement on my property, and when I die, or I sell my property, the money comes off the top to you, with interest, with whatever the statutory interest is.
The federal government could have done that, instead they wanted this show of force. And the resistance that they got, made it sound like, â€˜Enough is enough with the federal government, we are drawing a line in the sand right here,â€™ and it drew people from all around the country who basically said to the feds, 'Quit your heavy-handed theft of property, and act like you are a normal litigant and not God Almighty.'