President Barack Obama has seized more land for the federal government than any other president in American history. To date, he has unilaterally taken over 260 million acres of land and water, giving control and ownership over to the feds.
The worst part of it all? Obama’s grand seizure is technically legal, at least according to the Antiquities Act of 1906, which provides the executive office expansive authority by presidential proclamation. Section 2 of the law states:
The President of the United States is authorized, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments, and may reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.
The key phrase here is “in his discretion,” meaning that the president can personally decide how and where to exercise the full power of the law.
On Friday, Obama wielded this power once again, designating over 1.8 million acres of California lands as federally-protected lands. In doing so, the president artificially created three “national monuments:” Sand to Snow, Mojave Trails, and Castle Mountains. “The new monuments will connect three existing sites — Death Valley and Joshua Tree national parks and the Mojave National Preserve — to create the second-largest desert preserve in the world,” reports The Washington Post.
Obama isn’t finished, though. There is no limit to this president’s hubris. The man wants to make a legacy for himself, however destructive. That’s why he’s pushing for more federal land seizures.
“We have big, big ambitions this year, so let’s see what happens,” states the managing director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Christy Goldfuss.
The phrase “abuse of power” comes to mind, but even that’s an understatement. The Antiquities Act was never meant to be used this recklessly. While the controversial law has sparked robust debate since its inception, only one other executive office holder has abused this piece of legislation. You’ll never guess who. Or maybe you will. Hint: He was the father of American Leftism, hell bent on expanding the absolute power of the fed. The Post explains:
The act is among the most powerful tools at any president’s disposal. Franklin D. Roosevelt invoked the law more than any president in history; Harold L. Ickes, his interior secretary, kept a pile of potential national-monument declarations in a desk and pulled them out whenever Roosevelt was in a good mood.
How far Obama will stretch his arm through executive overreach is anybody’s guess. One thing is certain though. This isn’t a lame duck president. President Obama may seize more land for the federal government in his last year at the White House than what has hitherto been conceivable.