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Amicus Briefs

Murphy Company, et al. v. Biden, et al.

Presidents do not have the power to dispense with statutes. NCLA filed an amicus curiae brief emphasizing that point and urging the U.S. Supreme Court to grant certiorari in Murphy Company v. Biden. In this case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a presidential proclamation that prohibits Congressionally-mandated land use in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. The withdrawal of use in this monument designation is part of a legally disturbing trend: for the last 25 years, presidents have been exceeding their constitutional authority to designate monuments and inappropriately withdrawing major land uses, dispensing with statutes passed by Congress. On behalf of itself and the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, NCLA called for an end to this flagrant Executive abuse of power.

Congress passed legislation in 1937 that designated certain timberlands in Oregon for “permanent forest production” to provide “a permanent source of timber supply” and to support local business and government. Subsequent presidential proclamations, however, designated the Monument and prohibited “commercial harvest of timber.” In doing so, the President dispensed with valid existing legislation, an action that he has no constitutional power to take.

The Ninth Circuit wrongly held that Congress’s explicitly prioritized use for the land was not absolute, so it could be disregarded in part and replaced with new presidential priorities. Sadly, lower courts routinely defer to presidential monument designations that withdraw tens or hundreds of thousands of acres of land from public uses such as grazing and timber production and that interfere with statutory policies and protections for stakeholders. NCLA asked the Supreme Court to confirm the boundaries between Executive monument designations and presidents’ efforts to legislate land codes contrary to statute.

In March 2024, the Supreme Court denied Murphy Company’s petition for a writ of certiorari in this case.

Kara Rollins
Litigation Counsel
Zhonette Brown
General Counsel and Senior Litigation Counsel

Brief Amici Curiae of Arizona Farm Bureau Federation and the New Civil Liberties Alliance in Support of Petitioner

December 18, 2023 | Read More


NCLA Amicus Brief Asks Supreme Court to Stop Presidential Edicts from Superseding Land Use Laws

December 18, 2023 | Read More


Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument expansion sparks controversy

January 4, 2024



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