GOP Members Sue Over Biden Monument Creation

GOP Members Sue Over Biden Monument Creation

( – Arizona’s two most powerful Republican legislators have filed a legal challenge against the Biden administration’s designation of an area near the Grand Canyon as a national monument.

The lawsuit accuses the administration of violating the law by overstepping its authority. Warren Petersen, the president of Arizona’s Senate, joined fellow Republican Senator and state house speaker Ben Toma in alleging that Biden’s designation fails to properly comply with the conditions of the Antiquities Act of 1906.

In August 2023, Biden signed a proclamation that designated over 1,500 square miles of state land as a preserve, covering areas near the Canyon’s north and south rims. Republicans and business leaders argued that designating the monument was going to severely limit mining operations in the area and deliver an economic blow to the region. They also argued that the uranium extracted in the region is vital for national security as global tensions continue to rise.

Petersen also argued that it won’t actually protect historical artifacts but may also hinder ranching in the area. He accused Biden of being “disingenuous” in his decision. However, some Native American tribes and environmentalists celebrated the move.

Two northern Arizona cities and one county are also suing the Biden administration over the monument. They expressed concerns about reduced tax revenue and diminished property values in their communities, a move that could negatively impact local schools.

Mining operations have already been limited by a moratorium that was filed by the Interior Department in 2012. That legislation was designed to restrict new claims for mining for a period of 20 years after federal officials said they were concerned about water contamination. However, many existing claims were grandfathered and allowed to move forward.

When the Biden administration originally announced the decision last year, it said it was part of a $44 million nationwide effort to stop climate change through the national park system.

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