Friday, October 23, 2015

Sandoval, Laxalt clash over sage grouse lawsuit

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt joined a federal lawsuit Thursday challenging new land use regulations to protect sage grouse, drawing a terse response from Gov. Brian Sandoval who said the state's top attorney was acting in his own "personal capacity" and does not represent the state in the matter. Laxalt was quick to respond to the slap, calling the governor's statement "troubling" and "wrong." "The state of Nevada has joined this lawsuit," Laxalt said, adding "the attorney general is the only constitutional officer authorized by Nevada to intervene or to appear in litigation about public lands in the name of the state." "The attorney general's office has done so," he said. The AG's office said it had lengthy meetings with governor staff members before the suit was filed. Filing of the suit and the ensuing exchange between the constitutional offices underscored a simmering rift between Sandoval and Laxalt, both Republicans, who have clashed before over suing the federal government. Just weeks after taking office in January, Laxalt joined with 25 other states to challenge President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. Sandoval disagreed with the action, saying the matter would be best handled legislatively in Congress. Laxalt on Thursday filed an amended complaint in federal court in Reno to a suit first filed by Elko and Eureka counties and two mining companies over regulations that will restrict activities on millions of acres of public lands in Nevada that are managed by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service. Seven other counties — White Pine, Lander, Lincoln, Humboldt, Washoe, Churchill and Pershing — also have since joined the suit...more

I understand the Governor supports Interior's decision, but the enviros are filing suit and doesn't the Governor want the state's interests heard in court?

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