U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed the charges against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and three other men after they were accused of engaging in a 2014 armed stand off with federal agents. The dispute stemmed from the ranchers refusal to stop grazing cattle on federal land.
Judge Navarro found that prosecutors and FBI officials failed to provide Bundy’s attorneys with crucial and potentially vindicating evidence about government agents’ conduct before and during the standoff, stating that the prosecution’s behavior exhibited “intentional abdication of its responsibility” under the law.
Judge Navarro said the federal prosecutors’ conduct was “outrageous” and “violated due process rights” of the four defendants. Navarro said a new trial would not be able to address the problems in the case and would allow unfair advantage to the prosecution.
On Monday, Bundy and three co-defendants won legal victory when the government’s effort to retry him on charges related to the 2014 standoff was rejected by Obama-appointed Judge Navarro, who said that authorities committed egregious violations of the 71-year-old’s civil rights.
In November 2017 Navarro ordered Bundy be released from jail, where he had chosen to stay rather than accept the government’s offer of house arrest.
Bundy’s armed protest against federal authorities and his dated references to African-Americans as “negro” branded him the title of “white militia icon” in liberal media outlets anxious to paint his story in racial overtones. The media hounds were ironically humbled by a liberal Latina justice who refused to bite on the racial and political storylines external forces had attempted to lay over the case.
Gloria Navarro was nominated for Nevada federal bench by Barack Obama in December 2009 and previously worked as a public defender for poor and non-English speaking clients. Navarro was named Chief Judge of Nevada federal court in 2014 and was previously named Pro Bono lawyer of the year.