"Supreme Court Refuses Antiquities Act Fight"

"Critics of the president’s power to designate national monuments say they still have multiple avenues to challenge that authority."

"The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a pair of cases that could have diminished the president’s power to establish new national monuments — but critics of that authority say there are still multiple avenues to rein in the White House’s ability to conserve public lands.

Advocates for the logging industry and a coalition of 15 Oregon counties had sought a review of two lawsuits challenging the Obama-era expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and its subsequent management plans.

Challengers behind the two Supreme Court petitions — American Forest Resource Council v. United States­ and Murphy v. Biden — argued the expansion represented a misuse of the Antiquities Act of 1906 because it blocked sustained-yield timber harvests that Congress had required on some of those same lands.

But the petitions also presented a more significant question: whether the Supreme Court could restrict the president’s ability to set aside existing public lands to protect natural, cultural or scientific features, because the 1906 law did not create “untethered presidential authority” to limit uses of public lands."

Jennifer Yachnin reports for E&E News March 25, 2024.

Source: E&E News, 03/27/2024