Justice

Tennessee Lawmaker Wants To Support Armed Militia Occupying Federal Building

CREDIT: AP Photo/Erik Schelzig

Tennessee state Rep. Andy Holt (R) in 2012

Tennessee state Rep. Andy Holt (R) tweeted on Sunday evening asking how to “send support” for an armed militia occupying a federal facility in Oregon.

At 12:04 a.m., Holt tweeted, “#bundymilitia Where can I send support for your effort?”

The occupation — led by Ammon Bundy, son of Cliven Bundy — stems from protesters who want to show support for two ranchers who were charged with terrorism after setting illegal fires that spread to public lands.

Holt also tweeted expressing his support for their efforts and comparing them favorably to Black Lives Matter protesters in Ferguson, MO and Baltimore.


Not long after, Holt deleted his inquiry as to how to help aid the occupation, “so liberal loons will quit responding.” He lamented that despite this step, more “liberal loons” were tweeting at him; he urged them to “get off Twitter & read the Constitution, kids.”

The Tenth Amendment states that the powers “not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Neither it nor the rest of the Constitution grants citizens the right to engage in armed takeovers of federal buildings.

Article III, however, does grant Congress the power to punish treason.

After Holt’s tweets, Chattanooga City Councilman Chris Anderson (D) urged the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Holt “for treason against our nation.” He tweeted to Holt: “You continue to disgrace yourself and your district tonight. Please resign and let someone more capable represent them.”

Holt responded by dismissing Anderson, who is openly gay, as a “self professed homosexual” and then invited the councilman to have lunch with him.

This is not the first time Holt’s antics have made national news. In 2013, he pushed “ag-gag” legislation to shut down animal cruelty investigations, accusing the Humane Society of America of “tape and rape” tactics and of being “intent on using animals the same way human-traffickers use 17 year old women.” Holt owns and operates a facility that raises pigs, cows, and goats for slaughter.