Utah Sues Biden Over His Restoration of Two National Monuments
Biden killed a Trump order, which opened the area for use by American businesses.
Back in October of 2021, Biden made a petty move to rescind President Donald Trump’s order that portions of two sprawling national monuments in Utah be opened for mining and other development.
Utah officials, led by Attorney General Sean Reyes, have now filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration. They are suing to shed more than an two million acres from the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments that Biden gratuitously restored.
The suit asks the court to declare the monuments’ restoration unlawful and seeks an injunction blocking the Biden administration from implementing the president’s order reversing their reductions at the hands of President Donald Trump, Biden’s Republican predecessor.
Kane and Garfield counties, home to the Grand Staircase, are named co-plaintiffs in the suit, while San Juan is conspicuously absent. Although many San Juan residents opposed Bear Ears’ designation, the County Commission, now with a Navajo majority, has formally endorsed the monument’s restoration.
The Interior Department is currently developing new management plans for both monuments. It declined to comment on the suit.
Now in private practice, former Utah Solicitor General Tyler Green prepared the Utah suit with Consovoy McCarthy, the politically connected D.C.-based firm Reyes hired to conduct the monument litigation.
The designation has also posed challenges to area management, in terms of controlling visitation of such a vast region.
The monuments, which together are nearly the size of Connecticut, contain canyons surrounded by pink ribbons of limestone, dramatic red rock mesas and buttes, juniper forests and Native American artifacts including ancient cliff dwellings and petroglyphs.
In a Wednesday joint statement in support of the lawsuit, Gov. Spencer Cox and Utah’s entire congressional delegation accused the federal government of not properly managing the land and blamed the expanded monuments for “unmanageable visitation levels.”
“We now challenge this repeated, abusive federal overreach to ensure that our public lands are adequately protected and that smart stewardship remains with the people closest to the land,” said the group, whose signatories included U.S. Sens. Mitt Romney and Mike Lee.
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So is the Republican leadership ready to declare they will impeach Biden next year? So far the only GOP Congressional leadership we are getting is from Jim Jordan and Chip Roy. And I have next to zero confidence in the Freedom Caucus. It used to be all they could do was threaten to do something once they get the majority. Now that a majority is more than achievable, not a peep. The mice have scurried back into the walls.
The GOP gives jellyfish bad name.
Not even jellyfish can be bought so cheaply.
Our future is a renegotation among the states for more autonomy from the federal government. Anything less than that will result in secession.
What would be the point in impeaching him? He’d be guaranteed to be acquitted in the senate, and he’d trumpet that as a vindication. So what would have been achieved?
This isn’t your land, this isn’t our land, this is their land from sea to shining sea… sung in the tune of you didn’t build this 1619.
Ironically, this folk song was always the voice of socialism.
Along with that damn hammer song.
Biden porked Romney?
“To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings” (Art I, Sect. 8, Clause 17)
So, 1) State Legislatures are required, under the US Constitution, to approve all acquisitions of State land by the federal government.
2) There is a list of very specific reasons for which the feds can acquire State land. Establishing, or expanding, national monuments is not one of the specified reasons authorized.
3). The acquisition of State land (save only for the creation of the nation’s capital) is by PURCHASE only, not cession.
OK, now that I’ve calmed down, let me spell it out in tiny words, for those who can’t understand simple English.
The Exclusive Legislation clause means exactly what it says. If the USA purchases a site inside a state, “for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings”, and it asks for and obtains the state legislature’s consent for that purchase (which it does not need to do) then Congress has exclusive legislative authority over that site. State laws will not apply on the site, except as incorporated into federal law.
If the USA doesn’t bother asking for the state legislature’s consent for the purchase, or if the legislature refuses, or if the purchase was for some other purpose, then Congress does not have exclusive legislative authority there. State laws will still apply, to the extent that they are not overridden by federal laws, just like on all private property in the state.
And of course property that the USA obtained before the state was established remains USA property after the state is established, but once again Congress does not have exclusive legislative authority there, so state laws apply except when overridden by a contrary federal law.
That is all.
People who expand this into some sort of limitation on how much property the USA can own are exactly the same as the people who think gold fringe on a courtroom flag makes it an “admiralty court”, which somehow works differently from any other court.
I see the moderators have deleted my original response, so here is the essence of it again:
Wrong. The USA can buy any land it wants to, on the same terms as any purchaser or by eminent domain, and it doesn’t need anyone’s permission.
Wrong. The USA can buy land, from a state or from anyone else, for any purpose it likes.
Wrong again. There is no reason a state can’t give away land that it owns; but why would it want to?
In any case, national monuments can only ever be declared on land that the USA already owns. The Antiquities Act specifically requires that. Accordingly none of the monstrous national monuments that Democrat presidents have been leaving as their malign legacy involved taking state or private land. Every square inch of them were already USA property, and would remain USA property even if the monument were repealed by congress. So even if the USA were somehow restricted in what land it can acquire, that wouldn’t affect national monuments at all.
The Antiquities Act should be opposed, not because it’s unconstitutional, but because it’s a bad idea and we’ve seen how every Democrat president since Carter has abused it in ways the congress that passed it never contemplated.
The Antiquities Act should not exist. It’s a bad law, it serves no useful purpose, and it should be repealed. But it exists, and under its terms I don’t see how this lawsuit can succeed. The claim that there is some limit to the size of a monument has already been rejected by the courts long ago.
Further, if you read the text of the act, it says not one word authorizing a president to revoke or reduce a national monument once it’s been declared. It only authorizes presidents to declare the things, not to undeclare them. It’s a one-way ratchet. So Trump’s reduction of this monument was probably invalid anyway. Which is yet another thing wrong with the law.
If something is so important that it really needs to be preserved, Congress can make it a national park. The whole point of the Antiquities Act is to allow the president to bypass the congress and declare “national monuments’ on his own authority even when the congress refuses to make them national parks. I see no valid reason why any president should be able to do that. And considering how it has been used by every Democrat president since Carter, all Republicans should be for repealing it.