FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 12, 2024
President Petersen Leads Coalition in Legal Battle Against Joe Biden's Unlawful,
Dictator-Style Land Grab in Arizona
PHOENIX, ARIZONA— As promised, Senate President Warren Petersen is suing the Biden Administration following an unlawful, dictator-style land grab last summer in northern Arizona.
The complaint, filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, attempts to reverse Biden's confiscation of nearly a million acres of land within Coconino and Mohave Counties, now designated as a "national monument."
Joining the lawsuit with President Petersen on behalf of the Arizona State Legislature is House Speaker Ben Toma. State Treasure Kimberly Yee, Mohave County, Colorado City, and Fredonia are also part of the coalition seeking to terminate Biden's unilateral move establishing the monument.
The parties argue the Biden Administration's land seizure is a violation of the Antiquities Act. This limited statute Congress enacted in 1906 allows presidents to reserve small tracts of federal land to protect historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, or other objects of historic or scientific interest. Under the Act, the president is to reserve "the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected." The coalition asserts this did not happen, and the guardrails Congress established to create a check on the president's power have been violated.
"This federal confiscation promises to wreak havoc on our local and state economies, jeopardize the livelihoods of our citizens, and compromise national security, all in an attempt to score cheap political points with radical environmentalists," said President Petersen. "Biden's maneuver is incredibly disingenuous, as it has nothing to do with protecting actual artifacts. Instead, it aims to halt all mining, ranching, and other local uses of federal lands that are critical to our energy independence from adversary foreign nations, our food supply, and the strength of our economy. Needless to say, I'm incredibly disappointed our Attorney General has once again failed to carry out the duties of her office in defending our state against this reckless federal overreach and is instead showing her complicity with Biden's extremist agenda. Nonetheless, we look forward to prevailing in court and for the president's abuse of power to be reined in."
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus