Statement on ruling dismissing challenge to Bears Ears & Grand Staircase–Escalante national monuments

Aug 11, 2023

DENVER—A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit from Utah politicians who challenged President Joe Biden’s restoration of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase–Escalante national monuments. Judge David Nuffer ruled, consistent with numerous prior cases, that since Congress granted the president the authority to designate national monuments on national public lands, “Congress knows how to restrict statutory presidential power.”

The case was dismissed with prejudice.

The Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Deputy Director Aaron Weiss:

“Today’s ruling is yet another victory for the Antiquities Act and America’s public lands. As Judge Nuffer noted, there have been at least a dozen challenges to the power Congress gave to the president in 1906. Every single one has failed.


“The president and Congress both know that national monuments are popular and vital to America’s future. That’s why the Antiquities Act is still important today, more than a century after Teddy Roosevelt first used it. It’s time for Utah politicians to stop wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on pointless lawsuits that they know will keep getting dismissed.”

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