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Massachusetts Lobstermen's Ass'n v. Ross

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20176
Nos. 17-406 (JEB), (D.D.C., 10/05/2018) (Boasberg, J.)

A district court upheld President Barack Obama's 2016 proclamation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts off the New England coast as a marine national monument. Commercial fishing associations argued that the monument exceeded the president's authority under the Antiquities Act because it lies entirely in the ocean and thus is not considered "lands" under the Act. But the court determined that the Act does empower the president to reserve submerged lands. Moreover, the court concluded that President Obama had the authority to establish this monument, just as President Theodore Roosevelt had the authority to establish the Grand Canyon National Monument in 1908. The court therefore upheld the proclamation.