Category Archives: SB 50

Trump Administration Sues California Over SB 50

It’s no secret that the state of California has a strong distaste for the current President of the United States, Donald Trump, but the two seem to find themselves embroiled in legal battles on a very regular basis. This week, the Trump Administration has filed a lawsuit against the state of California over a new law the state issued that limits the sale or transfer of federal lands to private corporations.

California’s new law, SB 50, was enacted in October 2017 and gives the state primary rights to both arrange and purchase federal lands that lie within the state. It also allows the state’s Land Commission the first rights at any federal public lands in the state before they can be either bought or leased. SB 50 was initially introduced by lawmakers as a safety measure to prevent the environmental encroachment they feared would come from the Trump administration. It is included in the states legislative initiative that is titled Preserve California. The United States Department of Justice did not necessarily agree, they referred to the law as unconstitutional. According to the DOJ, the United States Constitution gives the federal government, not the state government, power to decide how and when federal lands are sold. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently discussed the fact that the State of California was admitted into the Union with a very specific condition that they would not, in any way, interfere with the dispensing of federal land, and with this law they clearly violate that agreement.

While it is unclear when this lawsuit will hit the courts, it is only one of many that show the state and the President just can’t see eye to eye. Only one month ago the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against California for their so-called “sanctuary” laws, a way the state is attempting to protect undocumented immigrants, and in the past week the state of California filed a suit against the Trump administration over a 2020 census question they felt was unfair. While no one knows how these suits will play out, one thing we can likely count on is the ongoing battle between this left leaning state and the President of the United States. For more information, click here.