Heller calls NSA leaks similar to federal abuse of power with Nevada ranchers

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Heller calls NSA leaks similar to federal abuse of power with Nevada ranchers

Nevada's U.S. Senator Dean Heller is expressing his concern about too much executive power. In a speech on the Floor, Heller used the scandal over the National Security Agency leaks to illustrate a broader abuse of executive power as it relates, most recently, to the rights of ranchers in Nevada.

Heller cited the case of rancher Wayne Hage in which the United States sued the Nevada rancher and his estate for a trespass.

"The court described the actions of the government officials as an abuse of executive powers and said, I quote, shocked the conscience of the court and provided a basis for irreparable harm, unquote. Mr. President, there seems to be a pattern emerging here."

The court eventually ruled in favor of Hage and his property rights.

Heller says the protection of such fundamental rights to property and resources is especially an issue for Nevada where 87% of the land is federally owned. Heller says the the NSA's monitoring of American's Internet habits endangers the same rights as the federal government's interference with cattle grazing.