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 judges.  They turned him down on every point of his appeal, so Barnett said he will appeal the appellate decision.

Barnett’s battle against the illegal-alien invasion has been a rough one.  Throughout the years, as I reported in this space in April 2009, “illegals have trashed his property, killed livestock, stolen trucks and broken into his home.  Because they kept wrecking an 8,000-gallon water tank, he installed a faucet so they could get something to drink.”

So Barnett knows a little something about dealing with migrating illegals and how dangerous they are.  Said his attorney, David Hardy, “Whole areas of his land have been covered in trash left behind by people crossing on it illegally.  Some are parties of illegal entrants, sometimes there are groups of 40 or 50.  He has drug smugglers come through too.  They take vehicles and plow through his fence.”  Barnett’s principal argument was that he drew his piece in self-defense, not knowing what possible criminal mischief the illegals might be contemplating.  Beyond that, Barnett quickly determined the pack wasn’t a serious threat.  According to David Hardy, “What they [judges] missed was that once he saw they were harmless, he holstered his gun . . . When the Border Patrol showed up, [the pistol] was in his holster.”

It wasn’t as if Barnett whimsically decided the illegals were a menace.  Along with his years of dealing with them, Barnett received two warnings from the FBI that his life was in danger.

Barnett isn’t the only American rancher robbed by the courts and a conspiracy of anti-American leftist lawyers.  In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center stole Casey Nethercott’s 70-acre property, which he purchased in 2003 for $120,000 with his life savings, to pay a settlement to a pair of Salvadoran illegals he detained.  He gave them cookies, water, and a blanket and then let them go after an hour.  (He denies the charge by the Salvadorans that he pistol-whipped one of them.)  But to the SPLC, Nethercott committed a crime and had to pay.  The “victims” of this monstrous injustice obtained visas to live here because they cooperated with authorities in catching Nethercott, the “criminal,” who was nailed for illegal possession of a firearm because he was a felon, having spent time in the slammer for assault.

American courts don’t much care for the rights of Americans.  The leftists on the Ninth Circuit don’t live with the consequences of their jurisprudential lunacy.

This country’s political and corporate elites are transmogrifying its ethnic, religious, and cultural identity, using the weapons of open borders, chain immigration, and refugee resettlement.  Now they have added the unconstitutional confiscation and transfer of American property and wealth to the beneficiaries of those immigration policies.