Star Grinch wrote:
So I guess me and my 500 cult followers can settle on any random planet we want to in Federation space,
And yet what you seem to have a problem grasping was that THERE WAS NO FEDERATION SPACE WHEN THEY SETTLED THERE. The federation did not exist yet and wouldn't for a century, hell it was only a few years to a decade of humans met Vulcans for the first time
But there was a Klingon Empire and the Enterprise
Augment trilogy indicated the Briar Patch belonged to the Empire. If that property became part of the Federation through a treaty or was a gain during wartime, it can be shown to have been continuously held.
So I'm not sure the Ba'ku being there before the Federation existed would really matter one way or the other.