On Wednesday, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes announced he will be filing a lawsuit against President Obama for his decision to establish a new national monument in the state. Republican Gary Herbert and the state’s congressional delegation are also throwing support behind the lawsuit.
The land in question is the Bears Ears National Monument. The imposition of this national site restricts land uses such as fossil fuel production. Obama’s reasoning for designating the site as a national monument is so that the federal government can preserve and protect sacred Native American Indian grounds. The national monument covers 1.35 million acres of land.
Utah’s statewide leaders and congressional delegation unanimously oppose the national monument designation. Reyes released a formal statement regarding the matter:
“My office is working closely with the governor’s office, federal and state legislators, and San Juan County to file a lawsuit challenging this egregious overreach by the Obama administration. This case is different from other past challenges by states and counties and we are confident in our chances of success. But the courtroom is not our only option. Our federal delegation is working hard to defund the designation or rescind it altogether. Additionally, we look forward to working with the new presidential administration on ways to curtail or otherwise address the designation.”
According to some law experts as cited by The Hill, Trump has given power under the Antiquities Act to unilaterally undo Obama’s actions.
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