LifeZette: Lawsuits, legal challenges, and quite possibly, a U.S. Supreme Court case — that’s the legacy President Obama’s leaving behind with his just-announced designation of two new national monuments, the 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears in Utah and the 300,000-acre Gold Butte in Nevada.
Why? Environmentalists, conservatives, Native Americans, and those on the political Left may have cheered Obama’s lame-duck designations, which came by the authority of the Antiquities Act of 1906. But landowners aren’t happy, and neither are state and local governments.
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes announced his office is working with federal and state authorities to file a lawsuit, challenging the scope of Obama’s designation. If that doesn’t work, Reyes said congressional members in Washington, D.C., could perhaps defund or rescind the monuments — and if all else fails, he’s looking to President-Elect Donald Trump for help. Meanwhile, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey just announced his intent to sue if Obama follows through with another proposed monument spanning 1.7 million acres in his state — this one called the Greater Grand Canyon National Monument.