Published: Nov. 19, 2018

Two University of Colorado Law School professors helped take a stand for public land by submitting amicus briefs challenging the Trump administration's actions to shrink Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah.

Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Research and Moses Lasky Professor of Law Sarah Krakoff filed an amicus brief with Robert Anderson, Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. The brief, signed by 13 natural resources and environmental law professors, argues that President Trump's "repeal and replace" of Bears Ears was not authorized by the Antiquities Act. Krakoff is a leading expert on American Indian law, natural resources and public land law, and environmental justice.

"This case presents a fundamental question about the administration of the Antiquities Act of 1906 (Act of June 8, 1906, c. 3060, codified as amended at 54 U.S.C. § 320301, et seq.). Central to the resolution of this case is an understanding of the history of public land law and the manner in which Congress has allocated authority in its various delegations of power to the executive branch. The undersigned professors and those listed in the appendix are uniquely situated to assist the court in resolution of the case."

Read the full brief.

Raphael J. Moses Professor of Law Mark Squillace filed an amicus brief with Bret Birdsong, professor at the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law, challenging President Trump’s effort to remove nearly 900,000 acres of public lands from Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. The brief was signed by 11 law professors specializing in the fields of public land law and natural resources law.

"On December 4, 2017, President Trump issued Proclamation 9682 (the "Trump Proclamation"), which purports to remove nearly 900,000 acres of public lands (and the resources therein) from Grand Staircase, thereby opening these lands for mining activities and other uses that have been prohibited since 1996. . . Plaintiffs have alleged that the Trump Proclamation creates a risk of imminent harm to historical and scientific resources in the lands that would be removed from the Monument. For instance, the Trump Proclamation subjects the lands removed from protection to the General Mining Law of 1872, which permits a wide range of explorative activities that could occur with minimal or no notice, irreparably damaging sensitive resources. The resulting risk of imminent harm clearly makes Plaintiffs’ complaints ripe for judicial review."

Read the full brief.