Trump administration loses bid to dismiss monument lawsuits | TribLIVE.com
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Trump administration loses bid to dismiss monument lawsuits

Associated Press
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The Salt Lake Tribune via AP
This May 8, 2017, file photo, shows Arch Canyon within Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. A federal judge has rejected the Trump administration’s bid to dismiss lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of a 2017 decision to downsize two sprawling national monuments in Utah.
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AP
In this Dec. 4, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump signs the hat of Bruce Adams, chairman of the San Juan County Commission, after signing a proclamation to shrink the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. A federal judge has rejected the Trump administration’s bid to dismiss lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of a 2017 decision to downsize two sprawling national monuments in Utah.
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AP
In this Dec. 4, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump holds up a signed proclamation to shrink the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. A federal judge has rejected the Trump administration’s bid to dismiss lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of a 2017 decision to downsize two sprawling national monuments in Utah.
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The Salt Lake Tribune via AP
This Dec. 28, 2016, file photo shows the two buttes that make up the namesake for Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. A federal judge has rejected the Trump administration’s bid to dismiss lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of a 2017 decision to downsize two sprawling national monuments in Utah.
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The Deseret News via AP
This July 9, 2017 file photo, shows a view of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. A federal judge has rejected the Trump administration’s bid to dismiss lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of a 2017 decision to downsize two sprawling national monuments in Utah.
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AP
This June 22, 2016, file photo, shows the “House on Fire” ruins in Mule Canyon, near Blanding, Utah. A federal judge has rejected the Trump administration’s bid to dismiss lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of a 2017 decision to downsize two sprawling national monuments in Utah.
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AP
In this Dec. 2, 2017, file photo, supporters of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments gather during a rally, in Salt Lake City. A federal judge has rejected the Trump administration’s bid to dismiss lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of a 2017 decision to downsize two sprawling national monuments in Utah.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A federal judge has rejected the Trump administration’s bid to dismiss lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of a 2017 decision to downsize two sprawling national monuments in Utah.

U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan’s written decisions issued late Monday night means the legal challenges seeking to return the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments to their original sizes can move forward.

Chutkan didn’t decide the key question at the core of the lawsuits: Does the Antiquities Act give presidents the power to create monuments as well as reduce them?

The government has already created new management plans for the downsized monuments. Trump downsized Bears Ears by 85% and Grand Staircase by nearly half.

The lawsuits were filed by environmental organizations, tribal coalitions, an outdoor recreation company and a paleontology organization.

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