The 10th Circuit is the second appellate court to uphold the rule, and chances are slim that the Supreme Court would take up the issue. But House Republicans will almost certainly keep trying to undermine the rule as part their attack on environmental laws that have long protected millions of acres of sensitive forests, deserts, cultural areas and wildlife refuges. One ridiculous bill would give the Department of Homeland Security power to override dozens of protections on federal lands within 100 miles of American borders to help fight illegal immigration. Another — with more traction — would eviscerate the president’s authority to designate national monuments, a power used to good effect by most presidents since Theodore Roosevelt.
Another, introduced months ago by Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, would overturn the roadless rule. Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt has called the McCarthy bill, which contains other antiwilderness provisions, “the most radical, overreaching attempt to dismantle the architecture of our public lands laws that has been proposed in my lifetime.” Ours, too.