If only Roger Barnett had known the courts would lynch him for defending himself. Or maybe he did know and still decided to stand his ground. Either way, the owner of the Cross Rail Ranch in Douglas, Arizona, on the U.S. border with Mexico, may soon be $87,000 poorer.
The left-wing Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s award to a band of illegal aliens who sued Barnett because he detained them at gunpoint on his ranch. Barnett thought the illegals, thousands of whom have crossed his property over the years, were a threat. (Indeed, one of them was a convicted drug dealer who had been previously deported.) The crackpots on the Ninth Circuit did not agree.
Barnett’s trouble began in 2004, when 16 of the border jumpers landed on his ranch. Since 1998 Barnett has collared 12,000 illegals for the Border Patrol (the New York Times describes him as a “special prize to the immigrant rights groups”), and he thought these might be a threat and pulled his shooting iron. He holstered the weapon when he realized they did not intend to harm him. No matter. With the help of the leftist Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund, they sued Barnett for $32 million.
The wetbacks, whom the Ninth Circuit believes suffered “post-traumatic stress disorder and other emotional disorders,” wound up with $87,000, and Barnett appealed to the San Francisco...