Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Challenge to National Monuments

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a pillar of former President Clinton’s environmental legacy yesterday when it refused to hear challenges to the creation of seven national monuments in five Western states. The Mountain States Legal Foundation, a conservative law firm, argued that Clinton overstepped the bounds of the 1906 Antiquities Act when he created the monuments, and Tulare County, Calif., argued that restrictions on logging stemming from the creation of the Giant Sequoia National Monument have significantly raised the risk of wildfires, but their arguments didn’t convince the court to hear the case. Enviros are psyched about the decision. “It reaffirms the validity of the Antiquities Act, and of a president’s ability to create monuments,” said Barbara Boyle of the Sierra Club. In total, Clinton used his powers under the Antiquities Act to create 19 new national monuments and expand three more, protecting 5.9 million acres.