Western attorneys general have added their voice to the chorus of legal experts who don't give much chance to Utah successfully suing the federal government to transfer millions of acres to the state.
The Conference of Western Attorneys General, representing AGs from 15 western states and three U.S. territories, signed off on a report that says previous U.S. Supreme Court rulings have repeatedly given the U.S. government the right to own land in the states and the right to decide whether to dispose of it. That precedent makes a new lawsuit unlikely to succeed.
The report was approved at a summer meeting of the group in an 11-1 vote, with the only no vote coming from Nevada's attorney general. (Utah AG Sean Reyes did not participate in the vote and declined to comment on the report when asked about it last week.) Utah legislators have indicated they're willing to commit up to $14 million to the fight, although the decision to file suit has not been made yet.