SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Last Friday evening, on the heels of the Biden Administration abusing the Antiquities Act to set aside another million-plus acres of Western land, a federal judge in the District of Utah granted the Government’s motion to dismiss of BRC’s challenge to the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.
The district court dismissed the suit on sovereign immunity grounds, reasoning that presidential proclamations under the Antiquities Act are not reviewable by any court for any reason at any time. This stark position is in direct conflict with precedent from both the Supreme Court and other federal courts. And if affirmed, it would have far-reaching repercussions for everyday Americans who live across the West.
“We respectfully disagree with the district court’s decision,” BlueRibbon Coalition Executive Director, Ben Burr said. “But when we started this challenge, we always expected that it would need to be resolved in the courts of appeals, including ultimately the Supreme Court. This decision sets up the next stage of that journey, which will be an appeal to the Tenth Circuit.”
BlueRibbon Coalition is a national non-profit which works to protect recreation access to public lands. They are joined in this legal challenge by a rancher, a miner, and a member of Utah’s Native American community.