The heated feud between the state of California and Washington D.C. continues this week. The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against California over a state law giving it the power to override the sale of federal lands, the department announced Monday.
This is the next round in the battle royale between President Trump and the nation’s most populous state. The Democrats in leadership have worked hard to aggressively thwart the president’s agenda.
Last month, Sessions visited Sacramento to announce he was suing California over laws that restrict cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
The recent lawsuit focuses on the law which was passed in September giving California the first right to purchase federal lands or to arrange for a specific buyer. State lawmakers had expressed concerns that the Trump administration would allow more logging, oil drilling or development.
The Justice Department maintains the state law is delaying land sales, even when projects have been in process for years. This delay is depressing the land value.
“The Constitution empowers the federal government—not state legislatures—to decide when and how federal lands are sold,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “California was admitted to the Union upon the express condition that it would never interfere with the disposal of federal land. And yet, once again, the California legislature has enacted an extreme state law attempting to frustrate federal policy.”
Sessions delivered a second statement on Monday in which he decried the mounting litigation between the Justice Department, California and other states that request judges to invalidate pieces of the Trump agenda. Sessions said “ideological judging” and “limitless injunctions” allow just one judge to tie up the administration’s policies.
“Government-by-litigation isn’t what the American people voted for and attempting to thwart an administration’s elected agenda through endless, meritless lawsuits is a dangerous precedent,” Sessions said.
“Yet again, Donald Trump and his administration are attacking our state and our very way of life,” Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a member of the State Lands Commission and a Democrat running for governor, said in a statement.
He was joined by other state Democrats who welcome this latest round in the battle and vowed to defend the law.
“Our public lands should not be on the auction block to the highest bidder,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a Democrat, said in a statement. “We’re prepared, as always, to do what it takes to protect our people, our resources and our values.”
How is this heated feud between D.C. and California going to end? Which side will cave first?