Letter: Democratic decisions

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  • Freiheit Salt Lake City, UT
    June 16, 2017 5:02 p.m.

    The part of the Constitution you quoted refers to the states as of 1788. They were 13. The rest of the area in the country, plus additions such as Louisiana, the Mexican Cession, Florida, Alaska etc., were governed as territories under federal control until such time as they were made states.
    Your argument has no basis.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    June 15, 2017 11:40 a.m.

    @ booshway
    The U.S. Constitution does not prohibit the federal government from retaining ownership of land or managing that land. This has been determined through legislation, which has been challenged and subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court.

    Art 4, Sec 3, Clause 2 "The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States...."

    The U.S. Constitution allows the U.S. government to retain lands in federal ownership in perpetuity, and allows the government a great deal of discretion in the management of those lands.

    There are many who disagree, but the Supreme Court has been very clear and consistent on the issue.

  • booshway Woods Cross, UT
    June 15, 2017 10:07 a.m.

    When Congress passed the Antiquities Act of 1906, they gave the President a power which they themselves did not have to give. Nowhere in the Constitution does the federal government have the right to control or claim ownership of any amount of state land, let alone most of the state. The states are each sovereign territory, united under the federal government for very specific purposes.
    U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8:
    “To establish Post Offices and post Roads;”
    “To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, (AKA Washington, DC) and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;—“
    Amendment 5
    “…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

    Nope, nothing there. Repeal The Antiquities Act. It is undemocratic and unconstitutional.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 15, 2017 8:18 a.m.

    It always amazes me when I travel in Europe, that an area so ancient in habitation and so riddled with conflicts has so much open space. Beautiful open space that could easily be used for "development" , but it isn't.

    Irony Guy mentions "immaturity of spirit". That's basically what you feel in Europe is a maturity of spirit regarding their land...and oh by the way it's the same maturity of spirit one gets from the Native Americans here.

    The ancients seem to see something the independent, "freedom loving", libertarian American capitalists don't.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    June 15, 2017 7:59 a.m.

    All Congress and the Senate have to do is pass a new law which changes forever the Presidential ability to create National Monuments.

    It is that simple. It is democratic. It is Constitutional.

    See how easy it can be if you just turn off the rhetoric?

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    June 15, 2017 7:50 a.m.

    If GWBush had declared Bears Ears a National Monument there would be no discussion. A statue would be erected in his honor but because Obama stamped the paperwork everyone is in an uproar.

  • stevo123 Driggs, ID
    June 15, 2017 7:05 a.m.

    @ Ron, A quick perusal of the comments about BENM show a overwhelming majority want it left as is.

  • Freiheit Salt Lake City, UT
    June 15, 2017 6:39 a.m.

    Congress was involved. They dithered and fussed and eventually came up with nothing. There are good reasons to keep, and use, the Antiquities Act just as it is.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 15, 2017 5:54 a.m.

    I do not disagree Ron,

    Our government was meant to be run by moderates. Our supreme court was meant to be run by those who could get a bi partisan consensus. Legislation should not be passed by a simple majority.

    Unfortunately, that is the way we are going (or already there). Our politicians (both R and D) have worked to get more and more power.

    And, also unfortunately, the partisan people agree with this power grab when their side is in power.

    Along those lines, Congress should be prepared to win some and lose some. They should not obstruct for the sake of obstruction. And lately, both sides have been doing that.

    One day, just hopefully, the logical, non partisans will take over and run the government as it was meant. By reasonable, logical people. Far far from what we have today.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 15, 2017 12:27 a.m.

    With the Antiquities Act, Congress gave the power to the president to create national monuments. It did not give him a power to uncreate monuments. Congress could, of course, modify the act or repeal it. This they have never done. So, for now, the president has the constitutional authority to create monuments, even if the author doesn't like it.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    June 14, 2017 5:49 p.m.

    The history of Arches Nat'l Park is instructive.
    Pres. Herbert Hoover declared a small monument. Pres. Roosevelt increased the size of it. Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson greatly increased the size of it. Nobody today wants to shrink it.

    The trend has been toward preserving more and more, toward setting apart certain sacred lands just because we feel a reverence for them. It's a sign of cultural maturity.

    The demand for shrinkage and rescission is driven by greed...the governing passion of the Trump Administration...and characterized by an immaturity of spirit.