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Trump administration sues California over sales of United States land

US Justice Department to Sue California Over State's Right to Sell Lands

The U.S. Justice Department said on Monday it plans to file a civil lawsuit against California, alleging the state is violating the U.S. Constitution after it passed a law that aims to stop the Trump administration from selling or transferring federal lands into the hands of private corporations.

California's law gives the state the first right to purchase federal lands or to arrange for a specific buyer.

"We are forced to spend our resources to bring these lawsuits against states like California that believe they are above the law and are passing facially unconstitutional laws specifically meant to interfere with the federal government's ability to carry out its legitimate law enforcement duties", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. Lawmakers who passed the law previous year cited concerns that the Trump administration would allow more logging, oil drilling or development on some of the 46 million acres owned by the federal government in California.

Justice officials argue the state law is unconstitutional under the supremacy clause, which says when state laws conflict with federal laws the federal law is the ultimate authority and because it discriminates against land sales by the federal government specifically.

Under the legislation, anyone knowingly recording a federal land transfer without certification from California's state government is subject to a $5,000 fine. "Our public lands should not be on the auction block to the highest bidder", Becerra said. "We're prepared, as always, to do what it takes to protect our people, our resources and our values".

California would be ready to file a lawsuit if needed to protect its greenhouse gas emission standards, according to Becerra. Last month, the department alleged in another lawsuit that the state's "sanctuary" laws, which impose policies generally friendly to undocumented immigrants, obstruct enforcement of federal immigration law and harm public safety.

Monday's legal salvos were the latest in a series of showdowns over numerous US initiatives, particularly on immigration and the environment, that clash with California's more liberal policies.

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California officials claim the state doesn't interfere with the actual sale of federal lands, but rather prevents the transfer deeds from being recorded.

"California is right to be anxious that the Trump administration may try to dispose of public land. And yet, once again, the California legislature has enacted an extreme law attempting to frustrating federal policy", he added.

Now President Trump is turning the tables on the Golden State #Resistance.

Environmentalists in the state are incensed over a previous presidential order directing the Bureau of Land Management to consider changes to protections for the state's deserts.

The statement, though, was notable for the forcefulness of its language suggesting that the Trump administration would take on California's authority to set its own rules. Jerry Brown, and the California State Lands Commission as defendants.

"This cynical and meretricious abuse of power will poison our air and jeopardize the health of all Americans", he tweeted.

Trump lambasted Brown, referring to him as "Gov". Is this really what the great people of California want?

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