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Sunday, August 07, 2016

Obama Threatens to Confiscate More Land in the West

By Douglas V. Gibbs

In Utah, there is a battle over land that makes the confrontations at Bundy Ranch in Nevada, and the mines in Oregon, look like child's play.  The federal government is already grabbing land in an unconstitutional manner, but if Obama has his way in a remote corner of Utah, the fight to protect States' rights over their own land will become even more fierce.

The area is a 2 million-acre region known as Bears Ears.  The region is sacred to many Native American tribes in the Southwest.  The tribes, along with some conservationists, want President Obama to designate the land a national monument.

As a monument, rather than something like a National Park, the federal grip on the land will be even tighter, and locally it will kill much of the economy.  Both designations, by the way, are unconstitutional.

While Obama is eyeing on stealing yet more land for the federal government in an unconstitutional manner, opponents to his consideration are actually working to break the back of the cogs in the federal machine that allows it to create national monuments in the first place.

The officials who oppose Obama on the Utah land grab are targeting the Antiquities Act of 1906.  The unconstitutional law grants the Executive Branch with the ability to create national monuments at its leisure.  In the House of Representatives the Republicans against the federal land grab are working on cutting funding for national monuments, a move that could affect much of The West.

Utah Rep. Chris Stewart, who backs the funding prohibition, said the bill would prevent a national monument at Bears Ears.

“I am committed to continuing to use the power of the purse and my position on the Appropriations Committee to rein in regulatory overreach at the Interior Department,” he said in a statement.

The bill is not yet law.  It's waiting to wade through the U.S. Senate.  If the Senate approves it, Obama says he will veto it.

Utah state lawmakers have also approved a resolution condemning the “unilateral use of the Antiquities Act” by the President of the United States.  In addition to trying to stop a national monument at Bears Ears, the resolution works as a kind of ideological blueprint for the plan to curtail the use of the act, calling for the State to receive an exemption to the law - encouraging Congress “to amend the Antiquities Act to prevent presidents from unilaterally designating enormous amounts of land within a sovereign state”; and it argues that the use of the act is fundamentally unfair because it “disparately impacts Western states.”

How about the States just nullify the unconstitutional action?  The Western States need to get together and say, "You are acting unconstitutionally, and we refuse to accept your unconstitutional activities."

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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