Bundy has participated in, and had links with various related movements, including anti-government activism, (which opposes federal government involvement in favor of state and local governments) and the sovereign citizen movement (which holds that people are answerable only to their particular interpretation of the common law and are not subject to any government statutes or proceedings). Some view him as a hero for having led a movement of ranchers to encourage more ranchers to join him in defaulting on their grazing fees as per their federal grazing contracts. Bundy's views have also generated significant controversy and criticism; for instance, he came under fire for remarks suggesting that African Americans might have been better off under slavery.
On February 10, 2016, Cliven Bundy was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at the Portland International Airport while he was on his way to support the Malheur Standoff. He was placed in federal custody, facing federal charges related to his own standoff with the Bureau of Land Management in 2014. His trial was scheduled for 2017. On January 8, 2018, judge Gloria M. Navarro dismissed with prejudice all charges against Cliven Bundy and his sons, criticizing prosecutors for willful violations of defendants' due process rights, including failing to properly turn over evidence to their lawyers.