Lawmaker: Utah may not sue for federal lands until 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A lawmaker says Utah may not launch a $14 million lawsuit against the federal government for control of public lands, but if the state does sue, it may not happen until next year.

Rep. Keven Stratton said Wednesday that officials are waiting for a new U.S. Supreme Court justice and to see if President Barack Obama names a new national monument in Utah.

The Orem Republican says the current eight-member Supreme Court would probably issue a split decision on whether Utah has a right to about 31 million acres of land currently controlled by the U.S. government. He says if a monument is named, Utah may sue over that and broader public land control.

Critics say Utah has no legal claim and would likely lose the lawsuit.

The Utah attorney general is still weighing whether to file a lawsuit.

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