Government prosecutors have a friend in U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro.
The judge is presiding over the retrial of four defendants charged with various crimes stemming from their participation in the 2014 Bunkerville standoff near Cliven Bundy’s ranch. The first trial ended in April with the jury deadlocked on all counts involving the four men.
On Monday, the judge eviscerated the defense’s legal strategy, putting off limits a whole host of issues that might make it more difficult for the government to win convictions. The defendants will be forbidden from arguing that they were exercising their constitutional rights to peaceably assemble and bear arms. They may not highlight the actions of BLM agents in the days leading up to the incident or mention federal gaffes such as the ill-advised “First Amendment” zone created for protesters.