In recent weeks, Washington D.C. has speculated on rumors of a forthcoming Executive Order from President Trump detailing his authorities under the Antiquities Act of 1906. An upcoming Executive Order could revoke some, if not all, of the Bears Ears National Monument designation. The Bears Ears National Monument was controversially designated by President Obama just before leaving office and covered 1.35 million acres in southern Utah.
The White House could be taking their cues from a recent report written by the American Enterprise Institute and the Pacific Legal Foundation. The report, supported by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and House Natural Resources Chair Bob Bishop (R-UT), detailed how past legal opinion on the President’s authority to revoke monument designations failed to accurately account for bill text and historical constitutional principles of Presidential discretion. The joint report suggests the basic constitutional tenant that no President can bind a future President’s authorities, which would prevent National Monument designations from becoming permanent.
Though sources close to the President have confirmed the Executive Order is being prepared, the White House has not officially confirmed the rumors. The Executive Order could be released as early as this month.