United States District Court, D. Alaska
ORDER RE MOTION TO DISMISS
L. GLEASON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court at Docket 113 is Defendant Steven Curtis
Bachmeier's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction.
The Government responded at Docket 115, and Defendant did not
file a reply. Oral argument was requested but was not
necessary to the Court's determination.
Bachmeier asserts that this Court lacks jurisdiction over
this case. He raises four separate arguments.
Mr. Bachmeier maintains that the Court does not have
jurisdiction because “state land, like Alaska in this
case, is not ‘subject to the jurisdiction of the
U.S.' unless there has been a cession of land AND
jurisdiction was accepted by the United
States.”He cites to 40 U.S.C. § 3112, but that
statute relates to federal jurisdiction over land or an
interest in land. It does not relate to federal court
jurisdiction over the prosecution of certain crimes. Mr.
Bachmeier also cites to John Phillips v. J.M.
Thralls, 26 Kan. 780 (1882), but Phillips
involved the authority of a justice of the peace to hold
court outside the limits of the township of which he was a
justice, which is not at issue in this case. Mr. Bachmeier
also notes that a felon in possession of a firearm in Russia
could not be charged with a federal crime by the United
States. But Russia is not within the territorial jurisdiction
of the United States; the state of Alaska is. Mr. Bachmeier
also cites to United States v. Luton, 486 F.2d 1021
(5th Cir. 1973). That case addressed whether a certain
district court - the Northern District of Mississippi - had
jurisdiction over a particular firearms offense. The Circuit
held that the federal district court had jurisdiction over
that case so long as some part of the criminal activity
occurred within that district. Here, it is not disputed that
Mr. Bachmeier's alleged criminal activity occurred within
the District of Alaska.
Bachmeier next asserts that there is no jurisdiction under
the Commerce Clause, because the Government has not alleged
that Mailing Threatening Communications in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 876(c) is “directed at the
instrumentalities, channels, or goods involved in interstate
commerce.” But the Court finds that the U.S. mail is
a channel involved in interstate commerce. And “under
the Commerce Clause, Congress is empowered to regulate and
protect instrumentalities of interstate commerce . . . even
though the threat may come only from intrastate
Court also has jurisdiction under the Postal Clause of the
Constitution, which empowers Congress to establish post
offices. Under the mail fraud statute, the use of
the mails establishes federal jurisdiction, so long as the
mailing is incident to an essential part of the
scheme. Similarly, under 18 U.S.C. § 876(c),
the use of the mails to send a threatening communication
establishes federal jurisdiction.
the Court has jurisdiction under the Necessary and Proper
Clause, which grants Congress the authority to make all laws
“necessary and proper” for carrying out other
constitutional powers, including those powers enumerated by
the Commerce Clause and the Postal Clause. 18 U.S.C. §
876 “is obviously appropriate to protect the
functioning of the national government and hence is
authorized by Article I § 8, clause 18, authorizing
enactment of ‘all laws which shall be necessary and
proper' for carrying into execution the other powers
granted by the Constitution.”
on the foregoing, IT IS ORDERED that Defendant's motion
at Docket 113 is DENIED.
 Docket 113 at 2.
 Docket 113 at 3 (quoting United
States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598, 618 (2000)).
 Cf. Water Splash, Inc. v.
Menon, 137 S.Ct. 1504, 1511 (2017) (discussing service
by “postal channels” under the Hague
Pierce Cnty., Wash. v.
Guillen, 537 U.S. 129, 147 (2003) (internal quotations
and citations omitted); see also Gonzales v. Raich,
545 U.S. 1, 23 (2005) (holding “[w]here the class of
activities is regulated and that class is within the reach of
federal power, the courts have no power to excise, as
trivial, individual instances of the class” (internal
quotations and citations omitted)); United States v.
Hasner, 340 F.3d 1261, 1270 (11th Cir. 2003) ...