November 14, 2018 
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INTERSTATE COMMERCE AND SMALL MINES

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 By Michael Miller

07/04/2018  1:34PM

Once again on behalf of the shareholders of America’s oldest gold mining Company, a heartfelt recognition goes to our forebears who dreamed of, wrote up and confirmed by the inevitable bloodshed and sacrifice of war the American Revolution.
The Revolution was grounded solidly on claims of rights denied…rights the colonists contended were due them through the usages and customs of English law. It was conceived and born with lawyers acting as midwives.

A Virginia lawyer Thomas Jefferson, who did not like the practice of law, explained the Declaration of Independence adopted July 4th but 242 years ago to his fellow colonists. He spoke of a renunciation of political allegiance, specific grievances and the justification to be taken.
Lawyers remained a dominant force and formed the nucleus of the Constitutional Convention. Continuing to today lawyers have contributed their talents to the judicial branch of government and to aspects of government at all levels from President and Congress to mayor and city council.

Alexis de Tocqueville many years ago observed: “There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one.” Today I observe that there is hardly a judicial question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a political one.
My observations were captured six years ago October 24, 2012, with the first entry under Interstate Commerce and Small Mines in this FORUM. If you have time, scan from the beginning forward.

Happy Birthday America, a land of vast natural resources and a history of people as diverse, robust and resolute. Our primary resource is the gold in California beneath the Sierra Nevada formed 125 million years ago. Our strength has universal flavors yet is mostly lost or shrouded in the mystics of political and judicial laws of economics.

On July 12th this year our Company enters another arena of judicial and political questions, not interstate commerce but those directly related to the declarations of independence and the machinations which followed from 1776 to 2018. I will let you know after this entry is filed with the appropriate federal Commission. It’s the law.
 By Michael Miller

08/19/2017  12:53PM

On May 30, 2017, Sixteen to One attorney contacted the government’s attorneys regarding our long time action for redress to adjust and balance a section of Congress’s law: which mine operations fall under the 1977 Mine Act. Congress place a size and economy qualifier to protect startups and small mines. Although our case is technically flawless and was accepted by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco for review, he suggested 16/1 would consider a voluntary dismissal with each party to bear its own costs and fees. The attorneys for MSHA and the Secretary of Labor agreed and a stipulated motion for voluntary dismissal and granted by the Ninth Circuit on June 6, 2017. The illegality surrounding Section 4 of the Mine Act is an important subject for all miners. The Ninth Circuit is often characterized as an outlier court that is frequently reversed by the Supreme Court. Perhaps it would understand this issue and (as outlier) rule for 16/1; however a court review must wait for another time.

The Company has given careful consideration to this issue. The time arrived to move MSHA into accountability in the 21st century regarding the law. Plumbago presented overwhelming facts that the Plumbago did not meet the intent of Congress in passing An Act in 1977. It did not affect interstate commerce! A Court challenge, however, must wait due to the Utah prairie dog.

Yes, the Utah prairie dog heavily influenced our decision. The Tenth Circuit (Denver) on March 29, 2017 affirmed an Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) challenge that the intrastate Utah prairie dog required protection because “Interstate travelers stimulate interstate commerce through recreational observation and scientific study of endangered or threatened species. This decision added fuel to a burning California issue of the delta smelt, which the Ninth Circuit reasoned affected interstate commerce ((2014). The commerce law now protects a dog.

The Tenth Circuit expressly approved the Ninth Circuit’s reasoning in the delta smelt case, and similarly found the ESA had a substantial relation to interstate commerce even if the prairie dog itself did not. “[W] conclude that Congress had a rational basis to believe that providing for the regulation of take of purely intrastate species like the Utah prairie dog is essential to ESA’s comprehensive regulatory schemes.” The Tenth Circuit ultimately therefore found that federal regulation of the purely intrastate prairie dog was within the federal power under the Commerce Clause. Nonsense.

The prairie dog case is recent and may lead to a request for review with the Supreme Court by local property owners whose use of their private property was diminished. Seeking review by the U.S. Supreme Court is always a time-consuming and expensive proposition, particularly since it requires 16/1 to go through the Ninth Circuit appellate process. The Company sees no chance of prevailing at the Ninth Circuit level of appeals due to judicial affirmation of travelers admiring the Utah prairie dog over property rights of Utah residents. Woof, woof or bow wow or whatever barks a prairie dog makes, you won. One justification in Court’s judgement was that travelers driving through Utah may be coming because they want to see the dog and if the dogs were not protected, there may be fewer travelers. Sigh.
 By fredmcain

02/13/2017  4:15AM

Mike,

Is there any hope that the new president might relax some of these laws and regulations? I know they have talked about doing that with coal but I don't know about hard rock mining.


Regards,
Fred M. Cain

...

 

  
 
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