On Tuesday, Marvin Brandt of Fox Park, Wyo., will sit before the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a government lawyer who wants to take his land argue why the laws, documents and court rulings that apply to everyone else do not apply to the federal government.

Mr. Brandt’s journey to the court — which reveals much about the men who built this country, a federal land-management policy that has gone wrong and the lawlessness of government officials — was nearly 80 years in the making.

In 1936, Mr. Brandt’s parents, Melvin and Lula, drove in a Chevy they owned outright from Mountain View, Mo., to the Medicine Bow National Forest of southeastern Wyoming.

When they reached Fox Park, which grew out of the transcontinental railroad’s need for cross ties made from the lodgepole pines that carpet mid-elevations of the forest, they had two dollars.

Like thousands of other young men in the midst of the Great Depression, Melvin Brandt was looking for work and found it among the hearty Scandinavians who logged the forest.