Judge Rules in Favor of Trump Administration in California Federal Lands Case
November 2, 2018
The Trump administration scored a legal victory on Thursday when a federal judge in California blocked a state law that sought to limit the transfer of federal lands.
The California legislature passed Senate Bill 50, which would give the California State Lands Commission the first right of refusal over government proposals to sell federal land, in 2017. Environmentalists encouraged its adoption to allay fears that the Trump administration would sell large swaths of federal land to be used for drilling, mining or real estate development.
But the Justice Department sued the state in April, with federal officials claiming that the law already slowed down a number of planned transfers.
In its ruling handed down Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, Judge William Shubb said the California law violated the Constitution because it interferes with the federal government’s right to regulate the sale of federal property.