April 26, 2017


A Welcome Development: Trump Begins Much Needed Review Of Monument Designations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President Trump signed an executive order requesting review of the last twenty years worth of designations under the Antiquities Act of 1906. Erin Hawley, legal fellow at the Independent Women's Forum, associate professor of law at the University of Missouri, and former clerk to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., released the following statement:

"This is a welcome development. The Antiquities Act is a relic of a bygone era when pothunters raided Native American sites. Today, a plethora of federal and state laws prevent such crimes and otherwise protect sensitive environmental areas. But the Antiquities Act stands alone among them because it allows a President unilaterally to set aside millions of acres of land and water for special protections. A designation often cripples the economies of local communities but the process offers zero opportunity for local (or legislative) input.

"The Antiquities Act, moreover, has outgrown its statutory text–the Act clearly was intended to protect only identifiable "objects" of historical or scientific interest along with the 'smallest area of land' commensurate with protecting said object–not the 553 million acres of land and water set aside by President Obama, for example."



Independent Women's Forum works to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free-markets and personal liberty.