18 attorneys general and 6 cities file lawsuit against Commerce Department

Trump administration steps up war with California over environmental protections

It gave state officials the right to purchase any federal land in California before the US government sells it.

The law, known as SB 50, purports to prevent county and state employees from recording the transfers of deed of federal public land unless a California commission is given a "right of first refusal" to arrange the transfer to its own chosen entity, presumably the state itself.

The U.S. government says California's law, which took effect January 1, is delaying land sales - even for projects that have been in the works for years - and is depressing their value.

The California legislature concluded, however, that "this bill does not violate the property clause of the U.S. Constitution because it does not actually prohibit the federal government from conveying its property".

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Eighteen state attorneys general and six cities sued the Census Bureau and the Commerce Department Tuesday over the Trump administration's plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 count of the nation's population. The complaint gives several examples of federal land [DOJ report] that was ready for purchase but have been prohibited from proceeding because of SB 50.

Speaking to the Washington Post, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement that "the Constitution empowers the federal government - not state legislatures - to decide when and how federal lands are sold". "California was admitted to the Union upon the express condition that it would never interfere with the disposal of federal land". Fearing that President Trump and the GOP-majority Congress would move to sell off federal lands, California enacted a law in October seeking to penalize anyone who attempts to transfer federal lands. That suit is ongoing.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who also serves on the state's lands commission and is running for governor, said the Justice Department's legal action against the state amounted to an "attack" on California and challenges "our very way of life".

Monday's legal salvos were the latest in a series of showdowns over numerous USA initiatives, particularly on immigration and the environment, that clash with California's more liberal policies.

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The plaintiffs, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, saw an ulterior motive. Federal law gives the authority to federal agencies.

Trump lambasted Brown, referring to him as "Gov".

"I regret the need to file yet another lawsuit against the state of California today", Sessions said in a statement. Is this really what the great people of California want?

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