Justice Department sues California over federal land sales

The U.S. Justice Department alleged that a California law that gives the state the right of first refusal on sales of federal parcels is unconstitutional and has so far delayed transactions involving land controlled by the Postal Service, the Navy and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"California has once again passed an extreme statute found in no other state to obstruct the federal government, this time by interfering with the conveyance of federal land", the Justice Department's acting No. 3 official, Jesse Panuccio, told reporters.

The Justice Department cites the Constitution's supremacy clause, which gives federal laws priority over state ones, as the basis for its legal action.

California state Sen. Ben Allen, who authored the legislation, told The Washington Post the law was "very carefully crafted" and meant to ensure the state would have the chance to intervene if the federal government sought to sell land worthy of conservation.

"The Constitution empowers the federal government-not state legislatures-to decide when and how federal lands are sold", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Monday.

Sessions is correct: state legislatures do not control national public lands.

"Whatever the motivation, I suspect that Attorney General Xavier Becerra will have something to say about state prerogatives that attach should the feds renege on their promises", said Hayes, who directs the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center, a group that assists attorneys general on environmental litigation.

"Yet again, Donald Trump and his administration are attacking our state and our very way of life", Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a member of the State Lands Commission and a Democrat running for governor, said in a statement. "We're prepared, as always, to do what it takes to protect our people, our resources and our values".

Last month, Sessions, during his visit to Sacramento, California's capital, announced that he was suing the state over laws that hinder cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

The suit marks the latest battle between President Trump and the nation's most populous state, where Democrats have tried aggressively to thwart the president's agenda.

The land recording system is set up under state and not federal law, so California officials argue the state is within its rights to pass laws regarding recorded deeds.

"California is right to be anxious that the Trump administration may try to dispose of public land".

Now President Trump is turning the tables on the Golden State #Resistance.

After weeks of speculation, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Monday confirmed that it would revoke Obama-era fuel-economy rules aimed at pressing automakers to manufacture cleaner cars and SUVs. Jerry Brown, and the California State Lands Commission as defendants.

"The Trump Administration's assault on clean auto standards risks our ability to protect our children's health, tackle climate change, and save hardworking Americans money", Becerra said in a statement. Federal law gives the authority to federal agencies. Brown for pardoning five illegal immigrants who are facing possible deportation.

  • Rogelio Becker