Yount v. Salazar et al

Filing 130

ORDER, Plaintiffs' motions for partial summary judgment (Doc. 73 in 3:12-cv-8038-DGC) and 90 are denied; Defendants' cross motions for summary judgment 101 and 102 are granted; Defendants' motion for leave to file supplemental citations 128 is granted; the Clerk is directed to file the document lodged as 129 . Signed by Judge David G Campbell on 3/20/13. (REW)

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1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 Gregory Yount, 9 10 11 Plaintiff, v. Ken Salazar, et al., 12 13 Defendants. National Mining Association, 14 15 16 v. Ken Salazar, et al., Defendants Northwest Mining Association, 19 20 21 v. Ken Salazar, et al., Defendants. Quaterra Alaska Incorporated, et al., 24 25 26 27 28 No. CV12-8042 PCT DGC Plaintiff 22 23 No. CV12-8038 PCT DGC Plaintiff 17 18 No. CV11-8171-PCT DGC (Lead case) Plaintiff v. Ken Salazar, et al., Defendants. No. CV12-8075 PCT DGC Plaintiffs 1 National Mining Association and Nuclear Energy Institute 2 (“NMA/NEI”) and Plaintiff Northwest Mining Association (“NWMA”) have filed 3 motions for partial summary judgment in this consolidated action. 4 Plaintiffs assert in counts one and seven of their respective complaints that the Secretary 5 of the Department of the Interior’s withdrawal of more than one million acres from 6 mining location and entry in Northern Arizona should be vacated because § 204(c) of the 7 Federal Land Policy Management Act (“FLPMA”) is unconstitutional. Docs. 73,1 90. 8 Defendants Kenneth L. Salazar, Secretary of the Department of the Interior; the 9 Department of the Interior (“DOI”); the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”); the 10 Forest Service; and the Department of Agriculture (collectively, “Federal Defendants”), 11 and Defendant-Interveners Grand Canyon Trust et al. (“the Trust”) have filed cross 12 motions for partial summary judgment on these counts. Docs. 101, 102. 13 The motions and cross motions have been fully briefed (Docs. 101, 102, 110, 113, 14 115, 117), and the Court held oral argument on March 1, 2013. For the reasons stated 15 below, the Court finds that § 204(c)’s legislative veto, which provides that Congress can 16 block withdrawals in excess of 5,000 acres through a resolution of both houses, is 17 unconstitutional. The Court also finds, however, that this provision is severable from the 18 grant of authority relied on by the Secretary in this case. The Court therefore will deny 19 Plaintiffs’ motions for partial summary judgment and grant Federal Defendants’ and 20 Defendant-interveners’ cross motions. 21 I. Background. 22 On July 21, 2009, Secretary Salazar published notice of his intent “to withdraw 23 approximately 633,547 acres of public lands and 360,002 acres of National Forest System 24 lands for up to 20 years from location and entry under the Mining Law of 1872.” Notice 25 of Proposed Withdrawal, 74 Fed. Reg. 35,887, (July 21, 2009). The 2009 Notice had the 26 1 27 28 Document 73 is docketed under case number 3:12-cv-08038-DGC because it was filed before the separate cases in this action were consolidated. Unless specifically noted, all other documents have been docketed under the lead case number, 3:11-cv-08171DGC. -2- 1 effect of withdrawing the land from location and entry for up to two years to allow time 2 for analysis, including environmental analysis under the National Environmental 3 Protection Act (“NEPA”). Id. 4 On August 26, 2009, the BLM, an agency within DOI, published notice of its 5 intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) addressing the proposed 6 withdrawal, as required by NEPA. 74 Fed. Reg. 43,152 (Aug. 26, 2009). The purpose of 7 the withdrawal as explained in the notice was “to protect the Grand Canyon watershed 8 from adverse effects of locatable mineral exploration and mining, except for those effects 9 stemming from valid existing rights.” Id. at 43,152-53. 10 After soliciting public comments, the BLM issued a notice of availability of a 11 Draft EIS on February 18, 2011. 76 Fed. Reg. 9,594 (Feb. 18, 2011). The Draft EIS 12 considered four alternatives: a “No Action” alternative; the withdrawal of approximately 13 1,010,776 acres for 20 years; the withdrawal of approximately 652,986 acres for 20 14 years; and the withdrawal of 300,681 acres for 20 years. Id. at 9,595. After an extended 15 opportunity for public comment, the BLM published a notice of availability of the Final 16 EIS on October 27, 2011. 76 Fed. Reg. 66,747 (Oct. 27, 2011). The Secretary issued a 17 Record of Decision on January 9, 2012, choosing to withdraw “approximately 1,006,545 18 acres of federal land in Northern Arizona for a 20-year period.” See No. 3:12-cv-08042, 19 Doc. 27-1 at 3. 20 The Secretary made this withdrawal under the authority granted in § 204 of 21 FLPMA. 77 Fed. Reg. 2,563-01, 2,563 (Jan. 18, 2012). Section 204(c) authorizes the 22 Secretary to make withdrawals “aggregating five thousand acres or more . . . only for a 23 period not more than 20 years.”2 43 U.S.C. § 1714(c)(1). It further provides that “[t]he 24 Secretary shall notify both houses of Congress of such a withdrawal no later than its 25 26 27 28 2 FLPMA defines a “withdrawal” as “withholding an area of Federal land from settlement, sale, location, or entry, under some or all of the general land laws, for the purpose of limiting activities under those laws in order to maintain other public values in the area or reserving the area for a particular public purpose or program[.]” 43 U.S.C. § 1702(j). -3- 1 effective date[,] and the withdrawal shall terminate and become ineffective at the end of 2 ninety days . . . if the Congress has adopted a concurrent resolution stating that such 3 House does not approve the withdrawal.” Id. The Secretary submitted its notice and 4 reports to Congress on January 9, 2012, and Congress did not pass a concurrent action 5 within 90 days to block the withdrawal. See Doc. 101 at 72-88. The withdrawal 6 therefore remains in effect. 7 II. Discussion. 8 Plaintiffs argue that even though Congress did not exercise its authority to void the 9 withdrawal, the legislative veto provision enabling it to do so is unconstitutional and so 10 interwoven with the withdrawal authority given the Secretary in § 204(c) that the entire 11 grant of authority must be struck down. See generally Docs. 73 & 90.3 12 A. The Legislative Veto. 13 Plaintiffs contend, and Defendants do not dispute, that the provision permitting 14 Congress to terminate a withdrawal by concurrent resolution is unconstitutional because 15 it allows Congress to act without adhering to normal constitutional requirements. The 16 Supreme Court in INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919 (1983), found that where Congress 17 delegates authority to an agency to make policy decisions that alter legal rights, thus 18 enabling the agency to engage in “legislative action,” Congress must “abide by that 19 delegation of authority until that delegation is legislatively altered or revoked.” Id. at 20 955. Congress cannot alter a decision of such an agency merely through a resolution of 21 one or both houses because Congress must act “in conformity with the express 22 procedures of the Constitution’s prescription for legislative action: passage by a majority 23 of both Houses and presentment to the President.” Id. at 958. Section 204(c), which 24 allows Congress to void the Secretary’s decisions without presentment to the President, is 25 clearly unconstitutional under Chadha. 26 3 27 28 Because NMA/NEI and NWMA have joined in each other’s motions, the Court will not separately identify which party asserts which arguments, but will instead refer to these parties collectively as “Plaintiffs.” The Court will take this same approach with Federal Defendants and Defendant-Intervenors, referring to them only as “Defendants.” -4- 1 B. Severability. 2 Plaintiffs argue that the legislative veto is not severable from the rest of § 204(c) 3 and that the Court must therefore invalidate the entire section. The touchstone for 4 determining whether a challenged statutory provision is severable from other provisions 5 is the intent of Congress. 6 (explaining that the test for severability is “What was the intent of the lawmakers?”); 7 Chadha, 462 U.S. at 931-932 (noting that invalid portions of a statute are to be severed 8 “[u]nless it is evident that the Legislature would not have enacted those provisions which 9 are within its power, independently of that which is not.”) (internal quotation marks and 10 citations omitted); City of New Haven v. Pierce, 809 F.2d 900, 903 (D.C. Cir. 1987) 11 (“[T]he question whether the unconstitutional legislative veto provision in section 1012 is 12 severable from the remainder of that section . . . [i]s purely one of congressional intent.”). 13 Thus, the key question for the Court to decide is whether Congress would have conferred 14 § 204(c) withdrawal authority on the Secretary in the absence of a legislative veto. Carter Coal Co. v. Carter, 298 U.S. 238, 312 (1936) 15 Plaintiffs argue that Congress would have discarded all of § 204(c) rather than 16 enact a grant of authority to make withdrawals of 5,000 acres or more (“large-tract 17 withdrawals”) without a legislative veto. Plaintiffs point to the historical and political 18 events leading up to the FLPMA, the language, structure, and context of § 204(c), and the 19 legislative history of the FLPMA, all as showing that Congress would not have granted 20 the Secretary large-tract withdrawal authority had it known it could not rely on the 21 legislative veto to control that authority. Docs. 73 at 8-13; 90 at 17-21. The Court will 22 address these arguments separately. 23 Before doing so, however, the Court notes two legal principles that will bear on 24 the decision in this case. First, a statute that contains an unconstitutional provision is 25 presumed to be severable if Congress has included a severability clause in the statute. 26 Chadha, 462 U.S. at 932. “A provision is further presumed severable if what remains 27 after severance ‘is fully operative as a law.’” Id. at 934 (internal citation omitted). 28 Second, when a presumption of severability arises, the party asking the Court to strike -5- 1 down a portion of the statute must present “strong evidence” that Congress would not 2 have enacted the challenged portion of the statute in the unconstitutional provision. 3 Alaska Airlines v. Brock, 480 U.S. 678, 686 (1987). 4 The FLPMA includes a severability clause. Congress specifically stated that “[i]f 5 any provision of the Act or the application thereof is held invalid, the remainder of the 6 Act and application thereof shall not be affected thereby.” Act of Oct. 21, 1976, Pub. L. 7 No. 94-579, § 707, 90 Stat. 2743; 43 U.S.C. § 1701, historical and statutory notes. This 8 clause is similar in material respects to the severability clause in Chadha, where the 9 Court emphasized that the clause applied to “‘any particular provision of [the] Act.’” 462 10 U.S. at 932 (emphasis added by Chadha). The Court thus begins its analysis with a 11 presumption that the legislative veto provision can be severed from the rest of § 204(c), 12 leaving intact the Secretary’s authority to make the withdrawal at issue in this case. 13 Plaintiffs can prevail in their quest to invalidate all of § 204(c) and the Secretary’s 14 withdrawal only if they present “strong evidence” that Congress would not have granted 15 the Secretary large-tract withdrawal authority in the absence of a legislative veto. 16 B. The Historical and Political Events Preceding the FLPMA. 17 The authority to manage and regulate the use of public lands originates in the 18 Property Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which vests in Congress the “power to dispose 19 of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting . . . property belonging to the 20 United States.” U.S. Const., Art. IV, § 3, cl. 2. The parties agree, however, that the 21 Executive Branch historically exercised its own authority to withdraw public lands. In 22 1915, the Supreme Court affirmed this authority in United States v. Midwest Oil 23 Company, 236 U.S. 459 (1915), finding that Congress’s “acquiescence” in a multitude of 24 executive land withdrawals over a long period of time had “readily operated as an 25 implied grant of power.” Id. at 479. At various times Congress actually enacted statutes 26 enabling the Executive to withdraw public lands for specific purposes. As the Supreme 27 Court later summarized in Lujan v. National Wildlife Federation, 497 U.S. 871 (1990), 28 management of public lands under these many laws “became chaotic.” Id. at 876. -6- 1 Congress responded in 1964 by forming the bipartisan Public Land Law Review 2 Commission (“the Commission”) “to study existing laws and procedures relating to the 3 administration of the public lands.” Act of Sept. 19, 1964, Pub. L. No. 88-606, 78 Stat. 4 982. After study, the Commission found that “[t]he lack of clear statutory direction for 5 the use of the public lands has been the cause of problems ever since Congress started to 6 provide for the retention of some of the public domain in permanent Federal ownership.” 7 Pub. Land Law Review Comm’n, One Third of the Nation’s Land 43 (1970) (hereinafter 8 Commission Report); see Doc. 102 at 36. The Commission found that “[t]he relative 9 roles of the Congress and the Executive in giving needed direction to public land policy 10 have never been carefully defined[,]” and that the Executive used its withdrawal authority 11 in “an uncontrolled and haphazard manner.” Id. The Commission recommended that 12 Congress “establish national policy in all public land laws by prescribing the controlling 13 standards, guidelines, and criteria for the exercise of authority delegated to executive 14 agencies.” Id. at 2; see Doc. 102 at 35. The Commission further suggested that 15 16 17 18 19 Congress assert its constitutional authority by enacting legislation reserving unto itself exclusive authority to withdraw or otherwise set aside public lands for specified limited purpose uses and delineating specific delegation of authority to the Executive as to the types of withdrawals and set asides that may be effected without legislative action. Id.; see Doc. 102 at 35. 20 Congress enacted the FLPMA in response to the Commission’s findings and 21 recommendations. Plaintiffs rely on the first part of the Commission’s language quoted 22 above – that “Congress assert its constitutional authority by enacting legislation reserving 23 unto itself exclusive authority to withdraw or otherwise set aside public lands” – as 24 evidence that Congress’s intent in passing the FLPMA was to reign in executive authority 25 over public land withdrawals. Doc. 90 at 10-11. As Defendants point out, however, the 26 full-text of the quoted language contains a two-part recommendation: First, that Congress 27 spell out its own reserved authority “to withdraw or otherwise set aside public land for 28 specified limited-purpose uses,” and second, that Congress make a “specific delegation of -7- 1 authority to the Executive as to the types of withdrawals and set asides that may be 2 effected without legislative action.” Doc. 102 at 15. This two-part suggestion can also 3 be seen in the Commission’s recommendation that “large scale limited or single use 4 withdrawals of a permanent nature” should only be effectuated by an Act of Congress, 5 while “[a]ll other withdrawal authority should be expressly delegated with statutory 6 guidelines to insure proper justification for proposed withdrawals, provide for public 7 participation in their consideration, and establish criteria for Executive action.” 8 Commission Report at 54, Recommendation 8; see Doc. 102 at 40. 9 The FLPMA adopted this two-part approach to managing public lands. The 10 statute specifically states that “it is the policy of the United States that . . . Congress 11 exercise its constitutional authority to withdraw or otherwise designate or dedicate 12 Federal lands for specified purposes and that Congress delineate the extent to which the 13 Executive may withdraw lands without legislative action[.]” 43 U.S.C. § 1701(a)(4) 14 (emphasis added). 15 To accomplish the first part of this purpose, several sections of the FLPMA 16 reserve to Congress exclusive authority over public land actions, including preventing the 17 Executive from modifying Congressional withdrawals for national monuments and 18 wildlife refuges and reserving to itself the authority to designate wilderness areas. See 43 19 U.S.C. §§ 1714(j), 1782. To ensure that Congress alone could initiate action in these 20 areas, the FLPMA expressly repealed all grants of authority to the Executive recognized 21 in Midwest Oil and 29 prior statutory grants of authority. Act of Oct. 21, 1976, Pub. L. 22 No. 94-579, § 704(a), 90 Stat. 2743, 2792. 23 To accomplish the second part of the Commission’s recommendation, the FLPMA 24 includes express grants of withdrawal authority to the Executive. 25 provides that “the Secretary is authorized to make, modify, extend, or revoke withdrawals 26 but only in accordance with the provisions and limitations of this section.” 43 U.S.C. 27 § 1714(a). Section 204(b) sets forth the procedures the Secretary must follow, and the 28 next three subsections set forth, respectively, the procedures applicable to executive -8- Section 204(a) 1 withdrawals over 5,000 acres, withdrawals less than 5,000 acres, and emergency 2 withdrawals. 3 recommended – it reserved certain land actions for Congress alone (national monuments, 4 wildlife refuges, and wilderness areas), and it also expressly delegated authority to the 5 Executive to take other land actions through specified procedures. Id. at § 1714(c)-(e). Thus, the FLPMA did what the Commission 6 Plaintiffs repeatedly emphasize that the FLPMA sought to reign in executive 7 authority over public lands and to place limits and statutory protections around executive 8 withdrawal authority. That certainly is correct. But the question to be decided in this 9 case is not whether Congress sought to reign in executive authority, but whether there is 10 “strong evidence” that Congress would have chosen to give the Executive no large-tract 11 withdrawal authority under § 204(c) if it was unable to limit that authority with a 12 legislative veto. The recommendations of the Commission do not provide that strong 13 evidence. Significantly, the Commission did not recommended a legislative veto. Nor 14 did it suggest that Congress reserve large-tract withdrawal authority to itself. 15 As discussed above, the Commission was equally concerned with enabling the 16 Executive to act through controlled delegation as it was with preserving Congress’s 17 reserved powers. 18 Executive’s use of its implied withdrawal authority, the Commission recognized that such 19 executive action stemmed from a need to manage public lands for which Congress had 20 provided inadequate statutory guidance. Commission Report at 44; see Doc. 102 at 37. 21 The Commission accordingly recommended that Congress “delineat[e] specific 22 delegation of authority to the Executive as to the types of withdrawals and set asides that 23 may be effected without legislative action.” Id. at 2; see Doc. 102 at 35. In short, the 24 Commission recommended that Congress grant withdrawal authority to the Executive 25 without a legislative veto. This does not constitute “strong evidence” that Congress 26 would have withheld the authority absent such a veto.4 Even while noting the “increasing controversy” caused by the 27 4 28 Plaintiffs argue that the fact that Congress enacted the veto provision even though the Commission had not recommended it suggests that Congress must have found -9- 1 2 C. The Language, Structure, and Context of § 204(c). 1. Policy Language. 3 Plaintiffs note that the language of the FLPMA repeatedly asserts legislative 4 control over executive authority to withdraw public lands. Doc. 73 at 8. They point to 5 the FLPMA’s statement in § 102 declaring that it is “the policy of the United States that 6 . . . Congress exercise its constitutional authority to withdraw or otherwise designate or 7 dedicate Federal lands for specified purposes and that Congress delineate the extent to 8 which the Executive may withdraw lands without legislative action.” 43 U.S.C. 9 § 1701(a)(4). They also point to the FLPMA’s repeal of all implied authority to the 10 Executive and argue that this provision “bluntly expresses Congress’s desire to reign in 11 the withdrawal authority of the Executive Branch.” Doc. 73 at 8-9. As noted above, 12 however, such provisions simply mirror the Commission’s two-part recommendation that 13 Congress reserve for itself withdrawal authority in specified areas (an action that required 14 eliminating any competing executive authority in those areas) and grant specific authority 15 to the Executive in other areas. They say little about the importance of § 204(c)’s veto 16 provision in achieving these overall purposes. 17 2. “Only.” 18 Plaintiffs further point to § 204(a), which states that the “Secretary is authorized to 19 make . . . withdrawals, but only in accordance with the provisions and limitations of this 20 section.” 43 U.S.C. § 1714(a), cited in Doc. 73 at 9 (emphasis added). Plaintiffs argue 21 that this language shows that Congress could not have intended the grant of authority in 22 § 204(c) to exist without all the provisions and limitations that pertain to it, including the 23 legislative veto. Doc. 73 at 9. This language is repeated in § 202(e): “public lands shall 24 be removed from or restored to the operation of the Mining Law of 1872 . . . only by 25 withdrawal action pursuant to [§ 204] or other action pursuant to applicable law.” 43 26 the Commission’s recommendations insufficient to reign in executive power. Doc. 110 at 13, n. 12. Given the key role the Commission Report played in the enactment of the FLPMA, however, it is equally plausible that because the primary source guiding the enactment of the FLPMA did not suggest a veto provision, Congress would have forgone such a provision had it known the provision was unconstitutional. 27 28 - 10 - 1 U.S.C. § 1712(e)(3) (quoted in Doc. 110 at 7-8). 2 requirement, seen in tandem with the limiting language of § 204(a) and the veto provision 3 in § 204(c)(1), shows that “Congress was willing to allow Interior to make long-term 4 withdrawals of large acreage only if Congress could override that withdrawal itself, 5 without presentment to the President.” Doc.110 at 8 (emphasis in Pl. brief). 6 Plaintiffs maintain that this Plaintiffs rely on Justice Scalia’s concurrence in Miller v. Allbright, 523 U.S. 420, 7 457-58 (1998). In Miller, an alien plaintiff had argued that two requirements for 8 demonstrating one’s citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) 9 violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution because they required proofs of 10 parentage from those born of U.S. citizen fathers that were not required from those born 11 of U.S. citizen mothers. 523 U.S. at 424. Justice Scalia opined that the Court could not 12 sever the unconstitutional provisions and leave the rest of the statute intact because “the 13 INA itself contains a clear statement of congressional intent: ‘A person may only be 14 naturalized as a citizen of the United States in the manner and under the conditions 15 prescribed in this subchapter and not otherwise.’” Id. at 457 (emphasis added by Scalia). 16 He found that “reliance upon the INA’s general severability clause . . . is misplaced 17 because the specific governs the general.” Id. In other words, Justice Scalia found that 18 Congress’s direct statement that citizenship could be acquired in the manner specified in 19 the statute “and not otherwise” overrode the severability clause’s suggestion that invalid 20 provisions could be eliminated, leaving the rest of the statute’s requirements in place. 21 Plaintiffs argue that the same analysis applies here – that because Congress stated 22 that the Secretary could exercise his withdrawal authority “only” in compliance with the 23 relevant subsections of § 204, none of the provisions can be severed without violating 24 Congress’s intent. For several reasons, the Court is not persuaded. 25 First, Miller did not find the challenged provisions unconstitutional, so the Court 26 never ruled on severability. Justice Scalia’s comments are not only in a concurrence, 27 they are dicta. 28 Second, the INA provision in question included the word “only” as well as the - 11 - 1 words “and not otherwise.” Id. at 457 (“‘A person may only be naturalized as a citizen of 2 the United States in the manner and under the conditions prescribed in this subchapter 3 and not otherwise.’” (emphasis added)). Justice Scalia relied on the latter phrase – “and 4 not otherwise” – for his conclusion. Section 204(a) of the FLPMA does not include that 5 phrase, and the presence of the single word “only” is an insufficient basis, in the Court’s 6 view, to disregard Congress’s clear statement that “[i]f any provision of the [FLPMA] or 7 the application thereof is held invalid, the remainder of the [FLPMA] and application 8 thereof shall not be affected thereby.” Act of Oct. 21, 1976, Pub. L. No. 94-579, 90 Stat. 9 § 707; 43 U.S.C. § 1701, historical and statutory notes (emphasis added). 10 Third, Justice Scalia reaffirmed that courts have “judicial power to sever the 11 unconstitutional portion from the remainder [of an Act], and to apply the remainder 12 unencumbered.” Id. The operative question, he maintained, is “whether Congress would 13 have enacted the remainder of the law without the invalidated provision.” Id. That is 14 precisely the question addressed in this order. 15 Finally, Justice Scalia’s concurrence does not in any way eliminate the 16 presumption of severability raised by the severability clause or the requirement that 17 “strong evidence” must be presented to overcome that presumption. Chadha, 462 U.S. at 18 932; Alaska Airlines, 480 U.S. at 686. 3. 19 Structure. 20 Plaintiffs argue that “the structure of 204(c) further highlights the impossibility of 21 severing the veto alone.” Doc. 73 at 11. They first argue that the Secretary’s large-tract 22 withdrawal authority and the legislative veto are integrated into the same provision, 23 showing that Congress intended them to remain linked. Subsection 204(c)(1) states, in 24 relevant part: 25 26 27 28 [A] withdrawal aggregating five thousand acres or more may be made . . . only for a period of not more than twenty years by the Secretary on his own motion or upon request by a department or agency head. The Secretary shall notify both Houses of Congress of such a withdrawal no later than its effective date and the withdrawal shall terminate and become ineffective at the end of ninety days . . . if the Congress has - 12 - 1 adopted a concurrent resolution stating that such House does not approve the withdrawal. 2 3 43 U.S.C. § 1714(c)(1) (emphasis added). The remainder of the subsection specifies the 4 precise legislative procedures for exercising the veto. Id. 5 It is undisputed that Congress intended the veto to apply to large-tract withdrawals 6 and not to other grants of authority. Thus, it is unremarkable that the veto provision and 7 the delegation of large-tract withdrawal authority appear in the same subsection. As 8 Defendants point out, “it only makes sense from the standpoint of clarity that a veto 9 relating solely to the withdrawal authority appear in close textual proximity to that 10 authority.” Doc. 101 at 14. The relevant question, however, is not whether Congress 11 intended the veto to serve as a potential check on large-tract withdrawals – it clearly did – 12 but whether there is “strong evidence” that Congress would have withheld the large-tract 13 withdrawal authority had it known the veto was unconstitutional. As Chadha instructs, 14 mere “reluctance” to delegate authority in the absence of a legislative veto is not enough 15 to rebut the presumption of severability that attaches when Congress includes a 16 severability clause. 462 U.S. at 932 (“Although it may be that Congress was reluctant to 17 delegate final authority over cancellation of deportations, such reluctance is not sufficient 18 to overcome the presumption of severability raised by [the severability clause].”). 19 Plaintiffs’ textual proximity argument therefore does little to advance the view that 20 Congress would not have wanted the Court to sever the unconstitutional veto provision, 21 leaving the remainder of § 204(c) intact, particularly where the severability clause 22 permits that Court to do just that and “it is the duty of th[e] court . . . to maintain the act 23 in so far as it is valid.” Alaska Airlines, 480 U.S. at 686; see also Ayotte v. Planned 24 Parenthood of N. New England, 546 U.S. 320, 329 (2006) (the court tries “not to nullify 25 more of a legislature’s work than is necessary,” lest it “frustrate[] the intent of the elected 26 representatives of the people”) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). 27 28 4. Notice and Reporting Requirements. Plaintiffs next argue that severing the legislative veto would leave the notice and - 13 - 1 reporting requirements in § 204(c)(1) and § 204(c)(2) with no purpose. Doc. 73 at 11-12. 2 As shown above, § 204(c)(1) requires that the Secretary notify both houses of Congress 3 of a large-tract withdrawal on or before the date that that withdrawal goes into effect. 43 4 U.S.C. § 1714(c)(1). Section 204(c)(2) further requires that “[w]ith the notices required 5 by subsection (c)(1) of this section and within three months after filing the notice under 6 subsection (e) of this section, the Secretary shall furnish to the committees” a detailed 7 report containing twelve specific elements, collectively detailing the rationale for the 8 withdrawal and documenting the procedures used for public consultation, data collection, 9 and evaluation. See 43 U.S.C. § 1714(c)(2). 10 Subsection 204(c)(2)’s explicit reference to the notice requirement in (c)(1), and 11 the fact that the required reports are to go to the committees who may, within 30 days, 12 either make a motion to veto that action or be discharged from further consideration (see 13 § 204(c)(1)), shows that Congress envisioned the reports as aiding the committees in 14 deciding whether to recommend a veto. This does not resolve the question, however, of 15 whether the reporting requirements have value without a legislative veto provision. 16 The Court concludes that the reporting requirements provide a meaningful 17 limitation on executive action even if no legislative veto may be exercised. They require 18 the Secretary to explain the reasons for the withdrawal (§ 204(c)(2)(1)); evaluate the 19 environmental impact of the current uses and the economic impact of the change (id. at 20 (2)); identify present uses and users of the land, including how these will be affected (id. 21 at (3)); explain what provisions will be made for continuation or termination of existing 22 uses (id. at (4)); consult with local governments and other impacted individuals and 23 groups, and report on the impact of the withdrawal on these parties (id. at (7)-(8)); state 24 the time and location of public hearings or other public involvement (id. at (10)); state 25 where the records of the withdrawal can be examined by interested parties (id. at (11)); 26 and submit a report prepared by a qualified mining engineer, engineering geologist, or 27 geologist concerning general geology, known mineral deposits, past and present mineral 28 production, and present and future market demands (id. at (12)). As Defendants argue, - 14 - 1 such requirements “not only impose a duty to present certain information to Congress; 2 they also force the Secretary to incorporate such considerations into his decision-making 3 process prior to making a large-tract withdrawal.” Doc. 101 at 16. Defendants equate the 4 value of these requirements to that of preparing an EIS under NEPA. Id., n. 11. 5 Beginning with Chadha, legislative veto cases have recognized the value of 6 reporting requirements separate from the veto provisions to which they pertain. In 7 Chadha, Congress gave the Attorney General authority under the INA to suspend an 8 alien’s deportation. 462 U.S. at 923. The Act required the Attorney General to provide 9 Congress with a detailed statement of the facts, relevant law, and reasons for suspension, 10 and it allowed for one house of Congress to block the suspension. Id. at 924-25. The 11 Court struck down the one-house veto as unconstitutional, but found it severable from the 12 grant of authority. Id. at 959. The Court reasoned, in part, that “Congress’ oversight of 13 the exercise of this delegated authority is preserved” under the Act’s reporting 14 requirements. Id. at 935. The Supreme Court found it significant that Congress would 15 still maintain the ability to block any unwanted suspensions by means of the regular 16 legislative process. Id., n. 8. 17 In Alaska Airlines, Congress enacted an employee protection program as part of 18 the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 and granted the Secretary of Labor authority to 19 write implementing regulations. 480 U.S. at 678. Similar to the statute at issue in 20 Chadha, the Act included a “report and wait” provision under which the Secretary was 21 required to submit the proposed regulations to committees of both houses of Congress, 22 with the regulations to become effective in 60 days unless blocked by a resolution of 23 either house. Id. at 682. The Supreme Court recognized that eliminating the veto would 24 alter the Act’s balance of power between Congress and the Executive Branch (id. at 685), 25 but found that Congress retained significant oversight even without the veto because it 26 would receive reports of the Secretary’s action, could attempt to influence the Secretary 27 during the waiting period, and could enact proper legislation to block the Secretary’s 28 regulations from going into effect. Id. at 689-90. - 15 - 1 In Alabama Power Company v. United States Department of Energy, 307 F.3d 2 1300, 1307, n. 5 (11th Cir. 2002), Congress authorized the Secretary of Energy to make 3 fee adjustments under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982. The Act required the 4 Secretary to conduct annual reviews and evaluations of existing fees and to transmit any 5 proposed changes to Congress. Id. These changes would go into effect in 90 days unless 6 blocked by resolution of either house of Congress. Id. The Eleventh Circuit found the 7 reporting requirements significant even absent a veto because they would give Congress 8 the ability to “keep tabs on the Secretary’s use of administrative discretion.” Id. at 1308. 9 These cases recognize that reporting requirements have oversight value even when 10 severed from the legislative veto to which they originally were attached. The detailed 11 reporting requirements in §204(c)(2) have similar value. They not only inform Congress 12 of the Secretary’s large-tract withdrawals so that Congress can respond through the 13 normal legislative process if warranted, they also ensure that the Secretary will consider 14 environmental and economic impacts of the withdrawal, consider current uses of the 15 withdrawn land, consult with local governments and other impacted individuals, hold 16 public hearings, and consult qualified experts about the known mineral deposits, past and 17 present mineral production, and present and future market demands. See 43 U.S.C. 18 § 1714(c)(2). These requirements will continue to have significant meaning even after 19 the legislative veto is invalidated. 20 Plaintiffs argue that City of New Haven, 809 F.2d 900, is more applicable here. 21 Doc. 110 at 8-9. In that case, Congress granted the President authority to defer 22 congressional appropriations to the end of the fiscal year by sending a “special message” 23 to Congress including the rationale for the deferral, its amount and intended duration, and 24 its probable fiscal consequences. 809 F.2d at 901. The presidential deferral was to take 25 effect automatically, but Congress could override it with a resolution of either house. Id., 26 id., n. 1. The D.C. Circuit acknowledged that Congress touched on the need for effective 27 notices during congressional debate, but agreed with the District Court’s findings based 28 on “overwhelming evidence of congressional intent” that “Congress – had it known that - 16 - 1 it could not disapprove unwanted impoundments by means of a legislative veto – would 2 never have enacted a statute that conceded impoundment authority to the President.” Id. 3 at 903 (emphasis in original), 907, n. 19. As the Court will discuss more fully below with 4 respect to legislative history, such “overwhelming evidence” is not present here. 5 Plaintiffs further argue that cases that contain a “report and wait” requirement are 6 inapplicable because the FLPMA permits Executive Branch withdrawals to go into effect 7 without a waiting period, so that “without the veto, the notices contribute nothing.” 8 Doc. 73 at 12, n. 10. Plaintiffs are correct that the absence of a waiting period gives 9 Congress less opportunity to influence an executive decision before it takes effect, but 10 this point does not help Plaintiffs. If anything, the fact that the FLPMA allows executive 11 withdrawals to go into effect immediately suggests that influencing executive action or 12 attempting to block it through a legislative veto was less important to Congress in the 13 FLPMA than in the “report and wait” statutes. 14 5. Distinctions between Grants of Authority. 15 Plaintiffs argue that excising only the veto would nullify the distinction Congress 16 intended to make between small-tract withdrawals (less than 5,000 acres) and large-tract 17 withdrawals, as clearly evidenced by the fact that Congress provided for this authority in 18 separate sections. Doc. 110 at 10-11. It is true that removal of the veto provision negates 19 a key distinction between § 204(c) and § 204(d), but the veto provision is not the only 20 important distinction between these sections. 21 requirements that attach to § 204(c) withdrawals remain and have utility independent of 22 the veto. Additionally, § 204(d) allows for three separate kinds of withdrawals: one for a 23 “desirable resource use” that can be of unlimited duration, one for “any other use” that is 24 limited to 20 years, and one for “a specific use then under consideration by the Congress” 25 that is limited to 5 years. 43 U.S.C. § 1714(d)(1)-(3). Withdrawals under § 204(c), by 26 contrast, can be made only up to 20 years. Although a large-tract withdrawal can be 27 extended for the same period as the original withdrawal, such extensions require review 28 by the Secretary, a repeat of the notice and reporting procedures for the original - 17 - As discussed above, the reporting 1 withdrawal, and a determination that the extension is necessary to achieve the original 2 purposes. Id. at § 1714(f). There is no provision, as there is in § 204(d), for unlimited 3 withdrawals. Nor does it appear that Congress intended the Secretary to make large-tract 4 withdrawals as a way to effectuate uses under consideration by Congress as it envisioned 5 the Secretary doing with smaller withdrawals in § 204(d)(3). These distinctions remain 6 even without the veto provision. Thus, severing only that provision would not collapse 7 Congress’s separate intentions with respect to § 204(c) and § 204(d). 6. 8 Emergency Withdrawals. 9 Plaintiffs argue that elimination of the veto provision would effectively eliminate 10 the need for § 204(e), which permits emergency withdrawals for up to three years, 11 because the Secretary could use § 204(c) to withdraw the same land for up to 20 years. 12 Doc. 110 at 11. 13 reporting requirements described above for large-tract withdrawals. 14 § 1714(c)(2). 15 withdrawals, the Secretary may make emergency withdrawals before preparing the 16 reports. Id. The fact that large-tract withdrawals made under § 204(c) become effective 17 only after the Secretary furnishes detailed reports to Congress means that § 204(c) could 18 not be used to make withdrawals on the same expedited basis as § 204(e) permits. 19 Additionally, public hearings, which are required for all other withdrawals, are not 20 required under § 204(e). 21 significance even if the veto provision is severed from § 204(c). This overstates the case. Section 204(c)(2) imposes the detailed 43 U.S.C. Although the same notice and reports are required for emergency 43 U.S.C. § 1714(h). Thus, § 204(e) retains separate 22 Plaintiffs make a converse argument that elimination of only the veto provision in 23 § 204(c) would render the rest of that section superfluous because the Secretary could 24 make large-tract withdrawals for up to 3 years in an emergency situation pursuant to 25 § 204(e), giving Congress time to enact proper legislation to extend those withdrawals for 26 longer periods. Doc. 110 at 11. This argument is unpersuasive because § 204(e) applies 27 only “if an emergency situation exists and . . . extraordinary measures must be taken to 28 preserve values that would otherwise be lost.” 43 U.S.C. § 1741(e). Absent § 204(c)’s - 18 - 1 delegation of authority, all non-emergency withdrawals of more than 5,000 acres would 2 require an affirmative act of Congress. This is inconsistent with Congress’s express 3 delineation of “the extent to which the Executive may withdraw lands without legislative 4 action,” particularly in light of the dual purposes of the FLPMA as expressed in § 204(a) 5 and embodied in the Commission Report. See 43 U.S.C. § 1701(a)(4); Doc. 102 at 35. 7. 6 Other Arguments. 7 Plaintiffs’ remaining textual arguments are that neither the 20-year limitation in 8 § 204(c) nor Congress’s purported ability to reverse the Secretary’s actions through the 9 normal legislative process provides meaningful restraint on executive action absent the 10 veto. Doc. 110 at 8-9. Plaintiffs argue that the 20-year limitation is “infinitely 11 renewable,” and, even if not renewed, is essentially a lifetime to those with current 12 investments in the withdrawn area. 13 possibility of reversing the withdrawal through full legislative action is not a viable 14 alternative to a legislative veto because doing so would require the President to agree to 15 override actions of his own Secretary of the Interior. Id. at 9. Doc. 110 at 8. Plaintiffs also argue that the 16 The Secretary’s ability under § 204(c) to withdraw public lands for up to 20 years 17 is, undeniably, a significant grant of power that would be made more pronounced absent 18 an immediate mechanism for legislative restraint. Any textual arguments that Congress 19 would not have enacted this grant of authority absent the legislative veto, however, are 20 tempered by the fact that Congress gave the Secretary unfettered authority to make 20- 21 year and other unlimited withdrawals under § 204(d) where public uses of smaller, but 22 still significant, acreage was at stake.5 The ability to extend withdrawals made under 23 5 24 25 26 27 28 The legislative history also shows that Congress increased the duration of largetract withdrawals from 5 to 20 years. House members who commented in floor debates indicated that they did not want Interior to be constantly saddled with paperwork or Congress to have the burden of frequent reviews. See, e.g., 122 Cong. Rec. 23,438 (1976) (statement of Rep. Mink) (“[I]f withdrawals are restricted to a maximum duration of 5 years, the Secretary will be overwhelmed with almost endless paperwork and field studies to justify, and continually rejustify, land management decisions.”); id. at 23,436 (statement of Rep. Seiberling) (“This provision [requiring review of large-tract withdrawals subject to a veto every five years] is burdensome, time consuming, and counterproductive.”). - 19 - 1 § 204(c) is also not unlimited. As noted above, the procedures required for such an 2 extension are substantial. 3 The argument that Congress would lack a viable means to reverse a large-tract 4 Executive Branch withdrawal through proper legislation requiring presentment to the 5 President, and therefore would not have granted the Secretary this authority absent the 6 legislative veto, is also unpersuasive. The fact that Congress clearly wanted the ability to 7 take legislative action without presentment does not mean that, faced with the 8 unconstitutionality of that approach, Congress would have withheld its delegation of 9 power even when a proper legislative check on that power would still be available.6 10 Withholding large-tract withdrawal authority from the Executive would have saddled 11 Congress with the responsibility for managing and enacting – through the full legislative 12 process – all withdrawals of land over 5,000 acres. The legislative history discussed 13 below suggests that Congress was not eager to assume such a burden. 14 Moreover, provisions of the FLPMA other than the legislative veto provide 15 meaningful checks on executive authority. These include § 204(a), which restricts large- 16 tract withdrawals to the Secretary or other Senate-approved appointees, § 204(c)(1), 17 which limits large-tract withdrawals to 20 years, and § 204(c)(2), which establishes the 18 detailed notice and reporting requirements discussed above. The Court cannot conclude 19 that Congress would have viewed these restrictions as so lacking in substance that it 20 would have reserved all large-tract withdrawal authority to itself if it could not impose 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 6 As noted in the legislative history section below, the House Committee that reviewed and approved the House version of the FLPMA contemplated that Congress could reverse large-tract executive withdrawals through the normal legislative process in cases where the veto had not been utilized. The Committee noted “each House will have, for a period of 90 days, the opportunity to terminate all such withdrawals,” and, “[a]bsent such timely action, it will take an Act of Congress to terminate the withdrawal if the Secretary does not do so.” H.R. Rep. No. 94-1163, at 6,183 (1976). At least one Representative also recognized in floor debate that for certain, irrevocable decisions, a veto may be more essential, but “if land is set aside by the Secretary and exempt from the Mining Act . . . the land will still be there and Congress at any time can open them up.” 122 Cong. Rec. at 23,454 (statement of Rep. Seiberling). 28 - 20 - 1 the one additional restriction of a legislative veto. 2 D. Legislative History. 3 Congress enacted the FLPMA as Public Law 94-579 on October 21, 1976. 43 4 U.S.C. § 1714, historical and statutory notes. The legislation came about as a result of 5 bills passed in both the House (H.R. 13777) and the Senate (S. 507) that were brought 6 together by the Committee of Conference. H.R. Rep. No. 94-1724, at 6,228 (Conf. Rep.) 7 (1976). The Senate bill was put forward and enacted in lieu of the House bill, but its 8 language was amended to contain most of the text of the House bill. Id. Significantly, 9 only the House bill contained a legislative veto. Id. at 6,229, sec. 4(d). Additionally, 10 only the House bill provided for repeal of all existing executive withdrawal authority. Id. 11 at 6,237. The conferees adopted both of these provisions, but revised the House’s one- 12 house legislative veto to require a concurrent resolution of both houses. Id., id. at 6,229, 13 sec. 4(d). 14 In support of their argument that Congress would not have enacted § 204(c) 15 without the veto provision, Plaintiffs point to the House Report endorsing the original 16 House Bill, the Conference Report, and the statements of various House members during 17 floor debates. See Docs. 73 at 9; 110 at 14-16; 113 at 20-23. The Court will address each 18 of these sources of legislative history. 19 1. House Report. 20 Plaintiffs argue that the House Report indicates that “providing for control over 21 large-tract withdrawals was a ‘major objective’ of FLPMA.” Doc. 113 at 20. The House 22 Report was issued on May 15, 1976, by the House Committee on Interior and Insular 23 Affairs to which the original House bill had been referred. H.R. Rep. No. 94-1163, at 24 6,175 (1976). The House Committee stated that one of the “major objectives” of the bill 25 was to “[e]stablish procedures to facilitate Congressional oversight of public land 26 operations entrusted to the Secretary of Interior.” Id. at 6,176, sec. (4). It also noted that 27 “[p]ublic concern over the possibility of excessive disposals of public lands on the one 28 hand and excessive restrictions on the other is reflected in the inclusion of requirements - 21 - 1 for referral of certain types of actions to the Congress for review,” including 2 “withdrawals and extensions of withdrawals of 5,000 acres or more.” Id. at 6,177. 3 Commenting on the veto provision, the Committee noted that upon receiving notice from 4 the Secretary of withdrawals or extensions totaling 5,000 acres or more, “each House will 5 have, for a period of 90 days, the opportunity to terminate all such withdrawals,” and 6 “[a]bsent such timely action, it will take an Act of Congress to terminate the withdrawal 7 if the Secretary does not do so.” Id. at 6,183. 8 Defendants argue, and the Court agrees, that the House Report does not provide 9 “strong evidence” that the veto was a major objective of the FLPMA. Doc. 115 at 13. 10 The Report provides some evidence that the House would have been averse to a final 11 version of the FLPMA that did not include the veto provision approved in its own bill, 12 but the strength of this evidence is reduced by the fact that the Report does not state that 13 the veto is a major objective of the bill, only that “[e]stablish[ing] procedures to facilitate 14 Congressional oversight of public land operations entrusted to the Secretary” is such an 15 objective. 16 provision specifically, it does so in the context of a number of other “procedural 17 controls,” including that the Secretary must provide notice to Congress, must include 18 with this notice other information as specified in the bill, must promulgate the withdrawal 19 on the record and provide an opportunity for hearings, may segregate lands only for one 20 year before taking definitive action, and may act only through the Secretary and “policy 21 officers in the Office of the Secretary appointed by the President with the advice and 22 consent of the Senate.” Id. at 6,183-84. As noted above, these provisions, independent 23 of the veto, provide strong congressional control on large-tract withdrawals. Taken as a 24 whole, the House Report does not provide “strong evidence” that the veto provision alone 25 was essential to the House’s approval of the delegation of authority in § 204(c). 26 H.R. Rep. No. 94-1163 at 6,176. Where the Report discusses the veto The separate and dissenting views of House Committee members Udall and 27 Seiberling cast further doubt on the centrality of the veto. 28 expressed general approval of the bill’s “long overdue” statutory guidelines for federal - 22 - Representative Udall 1 land management, but opined that the bill contained “serious flaws.” H.R. Rep. No. 94- 2 1163, at 221, reprinted in Legis. Hist. of the Fed. Land Policy and Mgmt. Act of 1976, at 3 650 (1978) [hereinafter FLPMA Legis. Hist.]; see Doc. 117-3 at 2. “Most specifically,” 4 he stated, 5 6 7 8 9 I disagree with those sections of .the bill which set forth new procedures for Congressional review of Executive withdrawals of public lands. While I have always been strongly in favor of additional oversight of the Department of Interior by the Congress and this Committee, the simple fact is that the mechanism of “withdrawal” of public lands from mineral entry is currently the only defense we have against mining activity on the public domain. 10 Id. Representative Seiberling, dissenting on behalf of himself and five other House 11 members, similarly took issue with the bill’s limitations on executive withdrawals which 12 he favorably cited as providing needed protection of public lands. Id. at 231, reprinted in 13 FLPMA Legis. Hist., 658; see Doc. 117-3 at 5. He stated “[w]e do not suggest that 14 Congress should not exercise oversight over this withdrawal authority[,]” but that the 15 veto provision and the requirement imposed on the Committee “to examine every 16 proposed new withdrawal over 5,000 acres” would be overly burdensome to Congress 17 and the Interior. Id. 18 2. Conference Report. 19 Plaintiffs argue that the sentiments of the House Committee are echoed in the 20 Conference Report, but this Report contains even less evidence from which to infer that 21 the veto was an absolute prerequisite to Congress’s delegation of large-tract withdrawal 22 authority. The only mention the Report makes of the veto is to note that the conferees 23 adopted it as part of the House amendments to the Senate Bill and that they revised it to 24 require action from both houses. H.R. Rep. No. 94-1724, at 6,229 (Conf. Rep.). There is 25 no further discussion of the veto from which to conclude that Congress would not have 26 passed § 204(c) without it. 27 The Staff Recommendations of both houses, prepared at the request of the 28 Committee of Conference, shed slightly more light on the analysis surrounding the - 23 - 1 inclusion of the veto in the revised Senate bill that ultimately became the FLPMA. Staff 2 of Comm. on Conf. of S. 507, 94th Cong., Fed. Land Policy and Mgmt. Act & Natural 3 Res. Lands Mgmt. Act (Comm. Print 1976), reprinted in FLPMA Legis. Hist., at 747- 4 869; see Doc. 117-2 at 2-14. The Staff identified provisions it found consistent with both 5 the House and Senate bills in roman text, provisions it found consistent with the 6 objectives of both houses in italics, and provisions of one house for which it had no clear 7 recommendation in bold. Id., Explanatory Note, reprinted in FLPMA Legis. Hist., at 8 748; see Doc. 117-2 at 3. With the exception of the nine lines containing the veto, the 9 Staff placed all of proposed § 204 in italics, denoting that it was consistent with the 10 objectives of both houses. Id. at 19-22, reprinted in FLPMA Legis. Hist., at 767-770; see 11 Doc. 117-2 at 6-14. The veto provision was printed in bold type, showing that the Staff 12 found § 204(c)’s grant of authority and its various procedural limitations, including the 13 notice and reporting requirements, consistent with the objectives of both houses, but did 14 not reach the same conclusion with respect to the veto. Thus, while the Committee of 15 Conference adopted the House version of § 204(c) that subsequently passed into law, 16 there is no evidence of a strong consensus of both houses that the veto was inextricable 17 from the grant of large-tract withdrawal authority. 18 3. House Floor Debates. 19 Plaintiffs rely heavily on statements of House members during floor debates held 20 on July 22, 1976, to show that Congress would not have granted the Secretary large-tract 21 withdrawal authority apart from the veto. Representative Melcher, chief sponsor of the 22 House bill, described the veto as “congressional oversight responsibility” and stated that 23 “[s]ince there is now no system of congressional review and congressional oversight of 24 withdrawals, this is the first positive step that Congress has taken to . . . exercise that 25 responsibility.” 122 Cong. Rec. 23,452 (1976); see Doc. 73 at 9. When debating an 26 amendment to raise the acreage for withdrawals triggering congressional review from 27 5,000 to 50,000 acres, and the duration from 5 to 25 years (id. at 23,440), Representative 28 Steiger stated even more strongly that “there were those of us – and I include myself – - 24 - 1 who felt that the Secretary should have the opportunity of making no withdrawals 2 without the review of Congress” and that “5,000 acres already represents a strong 3 compromise.” Id. at 23,452. These sentiments were echoed by Representative Santini: “I 4 think it is a fair and rational compromise to set a 5,000-acre ceiling. . . . I think it is 5 imperative that the position of the [drafting] committee be maintained.” Id. at 23,453. 6 Similarly, Representative Skubitz stated that “[o]ne of the most important reasons for 7 adopting this bill is that it provides for congressional oversight and control over an 8 executive agency which, at present, is free to act mostly of its own accord,” and that “[i]t 9 is essential that Congress be informed of, and able to oppose if necessary, withdrawals 10 which it determines not to be in the best interests of all the people.” Id. at 23,437. 11 Other House members were less supportive of placing constraints on executive 12 withdrawals, in general. Representative Forsythe expressed the view that the House bill 13 “bends too far” and would result in reluctance on the part of Interior to make withdrawals 14 as well as open up the possibility that “the mining industry will descend on Congress 15 every time a withdrawal is proposed to urge that it be disapproved.” Id. at 23,440. 16 Representative Fenwick expressed the view that “[s]ince the purpose of withdrawals is to 17 protect the lands that belong to the people of this country, it would seem to me that the 18 granting of permission to use the land ought to be the area where Congress raises 19 questions, and that the protection and preservation of those lands should be encouraged 20 . . . and not made difficult.” 21 recognized that “a withdrawal is basically a protective mechanism” and called the review 22 provisions in § 204 one of the “most objectionable provisions in the legislation.” Id. at 23 23,436. Representative Mink, who proposed the above-cited amendment, opposed both 24 the 5,000 acre limit and the then-proposed time duration of five years because she 25 believed these would place an unworkable burden both on the Secretary and on the House 26 and Senate Interior Committees. Id. at 23,438. Id. at 23,452. Representative Sieberling similarly 27 Plaintiffs point out that Representative Mink and the supporters of her amendment 28 who generally espoused less oversight never directly opposed the veto provision or - 25 - 1 recommended removing it. Doc. 113 at 23, n. 15. They quote Representative Mink as 2 saying “I most certainly do not object to congressional oversight in withdrawal matters,” 3 and to Representative Seiberling as saying that, under the proposed amendment, 4 “withdrawals would still be subject to disapproval by a resolution of either House.” Id. 5 (citing 122 Cong. Rec. 23,436, 23,438). 6 members would have opposed the delegation of large-tract withdrawal authority had they 7 foreseen the need to remove the veto as constitutionally impermissible. It appears, 8 instead, that they were attempting to appease those who would disfavor any less restricted 9 delegation of authority while still trying to raise their own objections. This is clear from 10 Representative Mink’s statement that “[i]f Congress absolutely deems it necessary to 11 exercise control over the withdrawal system, I suggest that we limit review to 12 withdrawals involving 25,000 acres or more, and establish a duration period of 15 years.” 13 122 Cong. Rec. 23,438. Ultimately the House adopted a compromise in which it kept the 14 5,000 acre limit, but extended the permissible withdrawal period to 20 years. This does not mean, however, that these 15 The floor debates clearly show that some members of the House were unwilling to 16 consider allowing the Secretary to make withdrawals of more than 5,000 acres without 17 some form of meaningful oversight and, presumably, would not have consented to a 18 delegation of such authority absent the veto provision, while other members, such as 19 Representative Seiberling, expressed the value of allowing the Secretary to make such 20 withdrawals for the protection of public lands and saw this as a more efficient and 21 effective means of federal land management than relying on Congress to enact full 22 legislation. See, e.g., 122 Cong. Rec. at 23,453 (statement of Rep. Seiberling) (“The 23 purpose of withdrawal by the Secretary, without waiting for the lengthy process of 24 legislation, is to be able to act promptly to set aside lands.”). Whether these members, or, 25 more accurately, whether a majority of the House, would have found this delegation too 26 important to eliminate cannot be answered from these isolated comments. 27 The statements of individual representatives ultimately carry less weight than 28 Committee Reports in analyzing Congress’s intent. Garcia v. United States, 469 U.S. 70, - 26 - 1 76 (1984) (“[W]e have repeatedly stated that the authoritative source for finding the 2 Legislature’s intent lies in the Committee Reports on the bill, which ‘represen[t] the 3 considered and collective understanding of those Congressmen involved in drafting and 4 studying proposed legislation.’”) (internal citations omitted). Here, however, the House 5 Report is not particularly helpful in isolating the significance of the veto provision in 6 relation to the other limitations contained in the FLPMA and in § 204 in particular. The 7 Conference Report merely reflects that the conferees adopted the House amendments that 8 included the legislative veto, but provides no discussion from which to conclude that 9 elimination of the veto alone would have caused Congress to withhold large-tract 10 withdrawal authority. See Gulf Oil Corp. v. Dyke, 734 F.2d 797, 804 (Temp. Emer. Ct. 11 App. 1984) (stating that the mere reference to and description of vetoes in legislative 12 reports is “not helpful in determining what Congress would have intended had it known 13 the legislative vetoes were invalid.”). 14 Plaintiffs argue that this case is like City of New Haven in which the D.C. Circuit 15 took into account the “numerous statements of individual legislators urging the passage 16 of legislation to control presidential impoundments” and agreed with the lower court that 17 the “‘raison d’etere’ of the entire legislative effort was to assert control over presidential 18 impoundments.” 809 F.2d at 907 (emphasis in original). Here, however, the evidence 19 from the pre-FLPMA Commission Report, the text and structure of the FLPMA, the 20 statements of House members, and the Committee Reports all reflect that the FLPMA 21 was equally concerned with granting withdrawal authority to the Executive as it was with 22 setting proper limits and procedural safeguards on the exercise of that authority. 23 Additionally, unlike City of New Haven, in which the court noted that “[n]owhere in the 24 legislative history is there the slightest suggestion that the President be given statutory 25 authority to defer funds without the possible check of at least a one-House veto” (id. at 26 908), several House members addressing the FLPMA spoke of the need to support rather 27 than limit the Executive’s ability to withdraw public lands, and the Senate put forth its 28 own bill that neither repealed the Executive’s existing authority nor included a legislative - 27 - 1 veto. Upon this evidence, the Court cannot conclude, as the court did with respect to the 2 veto in City of New Haven, that the veto in § 204(c) of FLPMA is inseparable from the 3 remainder of that section. 4 E. Whether § 204(c) is Fully Operative without the Veto. 5 As stated in Chadha, the presumption of severability attaches not only where there 6 is a severability clause, but also where “what remains after severance ‘is fully operative 7 as a law.’” 462 U.S. at 932 (internal citation omitted). Plaintiffs argue that § 204(c) 8 would not function in the manner Congress intended but for the veto. See, e.g., Doc. 73 9 at 10. Plaintiffs argue that allowing the Secretary to make large-tract withdrawals 10 without the legislative veto would fundamentally conflict with Congress’s intent by 11 eliminating the FLPMA’s “most significant” constraint on executive withdrawals. See, 12 e.g., Doc. 73 at 8 (quoting Prof. Robert L. Glicksman, Severability and the Realignment 13 of the Balance of Power over the Public Lands: The Federal Land Policy and 14 Management Act, 36 Hastings L.J. 1, 36 (1984)). The Court does not agree. 15 The FLPMA will remain fully operative absent the legislative veto. As courts 16 have found in other severability cases, the notice and reporting requirements of the 17 FLPMA will continue to function and provide both substantive and procedural restraints 18 on executive action. As discussed above, the various provisions of the FLPMA will 19 continue to have distinct meaning after the veto is invalidated. Indeed, as Defendants 20 note, the Secretary has exercised large-tract withdrawal authority at least 82 times in the 21 35 years since the FLMPA was enacted and Congress has never exercised the veto once, 22 confirming that the FLPMA functions effectively with no veto. Doc. 101 at 25; see Decl. 23 of Jeffrey O. Holdren, Doc. 101 at 90-92, ¶¶ 4, 6. 24 III. Summary and Conclusion. 25 Given the FLPMA’s severability clause and the fact that the statute remains fully 26 operative without the legislative veto, the Court presumes that the veto is severable from 27 the remainder of § 204(c). Chadha, 462 U.S. at 932. Plaintiffs have not presented the 28 “strong evidence” required to overcome this presumption. Alaska Airline, 480 U.S. at - 28 - 1 686. The Court therefore holds that the veto is severable, and that the Secretary’s large- 2 tract withdrawal authority remains in place even after invalidation of the legislative veto. 3 “Generally speaking, when confronting a constitutional flaw in a statute, we try to limit 4 the solution to the problem . . . [and] to enjoin only the unconstitutional applications of a 5 statute while leaving other applications in force.” Ayotte, 546 U.S. at 328-29. 6 The Court invalidates only the lines of § 204(c)(1) beginning with the statement: 7 “and the withdrawal shall terminate and become ineffective at the end of ninety days . . . 8 if the Congress has adopted a concurrent resolution stating that such House does not 9 approve the withdrawal. . . .” The preceding part of that section, which grants the 10 Secretary large-tract withdrawal authority, and all of § 204(c)(2), setting forth detailed 11 reporting requirements, remain in effect. 12 13 IT IS ORDERED: 1. DGC) and Doc. 90) are denied. 14 15 2. 18 19 Defendants’ cross motions for summary judgment (Docs. 101 and 102) are granted. 16 17 Plaintiffs’ motions for partial summary judgment (Doc. 73 (3:12-cv-08038 3. Defendants’ motion for leave to file supplemental citations (Doc. 128) is granted. The Clerk is directed to file the document lodged as Doc. 129. Dated this 20th day of March, 2013. 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 - 29 -

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