This paper makes it clear that the Antiquities

            This
paper makes it clear that the Antiquities Act has given presidents broad powers
to designate public land. In addition, it has noted the increasing partisan
divide in the use of the act. This points to a future where Democrats will
continue to use the Antiquities Act, whereas Republicans will not, or even try
to reverse previous monument designations. In fact, President Trump issued an
executive order to review many designated monuments and public land. However,
there is debate as to whether the president has the power to rescind monument or
land protection. As a result, this executive order could lead to an extensive
court battle and set a precedent for Democrats designating monuments that are
later rescinded by Republicans. Finally, the increasing polarization in modern
politics ensures that the use of the Antiquities Act will remain a contentious
topic. Attempts to weaken the act by the current administration, if successful,
would lead to a significant reduction in the president’s power to carry out his/her
environmental agenda. Voters who value the issue of federal land protection
have clear choices in future presidential elections.

            Mark
Kelso’s first analysis finds that party and polarization are consistent with
the aforementioned hypotheses. Era alone, however, is not statistically
significant. Additionally, unemployment has a positive relationship with the
use of the act. In other words, the Antiquities Act is more likely to be
utilized during periods of higher unemployment. In the second analysis, the first
two variables are combined as party-era, producing the strongest positive
relationship to the use of the Antiquities Act. The divided government variable
has a negative relationship with the use of the act. Finally, unemployment and
war have a strong positive relationship with use of the act.

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            Kelso
began by collecting data on every president since Theodore Roosevelt, including
party, years in office, and monuments created/expanded. From there, Kelso
conducted a regression analysis that examined party, era (modern environmental
era or not), polarization, majority size in congress, change party (president’s
party differed from previous president), divided government (opposition party
controlled one or more chambers of congress), unemployment, and war (at least
2,000 American battle-deaths during administration). Due to the results in the
first model, he conducted a revised regression analysis.

            In
his article, Mark Kelso’s main research question was how the use of the
Antiquities Act has changed over time. Based on historical trends, Kelso
proposed three hypotheses of equal importance. First, he claimed that Democrats
use the Antiquities Act more frequently than Republicans. Second, the
Antiquities Act has been used more often in the modern environmental era
(1969-present) than the previous period. Third, the use of the Antiquities Act
increases as polarization increases in Congress.

            The
national parks and monuments that we know today are a result of a century of broad
presidential power. Without protection, our greatest environmental landmarks, such
as the Grand Canyon, would be open for development. President Theodore
Roosevelt, an avid conservationist of his time, sought to protect vast swathes
of territory from a rapidly industrializing economy. However, he didn’t do it
alone. In 1906, Congress passed the Antiquities Act, giving the president broad
authority to declare monuments. Nearly every president since has used this act
to continue Roosevelt’s legacy of conservation.

Article Summary 1

25 January 2018

The American Presidency

Professor Badas

Reid Unison

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