A historical story by J. R. Maurer
In the early 1950’s a small town resident named Frank received a complaint that he was being sued “…by the United States acting on the authority of the Attorney General alleges that the defendants have repeatedly, through overt acts, displayed their disregard for the United States and are encroaching upon the already insufficient supply of water required for the nation’s defense. All of the rights of the United States are paramount to the right of the defendants.” The Federal government was being proclaimed to be superior to the ordinary citizen in this suit.
All 14,000 of his neighbors were being sued to have their water rights taken away. It was David vs Goliath. One of Frank’s neighbors had a sixteen-millimeter camera and happened to be a Hollywood cameraman. They made a half hour movie. The case made national headlines. Much discussion and several months later President Truman fired Attorney General J. Howard McGrath. The lawsuit was dropped and the citizens of America won.
I just watched the short movie on DVD of how Frank Capra got Cecil B. de Mille to give the opening monolog on the film documenting the struggle of the residents of Fallbrook, CA.