Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who ruffled the feathers of Gov. Brian Sandoval when he joined a lawsuit challenging sage grouse protections, won’t be allowed to argue Tuesday when a federal judge considers an injunction to block new public lands regulations

CARSON CITY — Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who ruffled the feathers of Gov. Brian Sandoval when he joined a lawsuit challenging sage grouse protections, won’t be allowed to argue Tuesday when a federal judge considers an injunction to block new public lands regulations, the judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge Miranda Du, in an order issued Friday, said only the original plaintiffs in the case — Elko and Eureka counties, Quantum Minerals LLC and Western Exploration LLC — will be permitted to present issues and arguments.

The AG’s office, seven other counties, another mining firm and a ranch joined the lawsuit after the original suit was filed on Sept. 23.

The first lawsuit was filed the day after Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would not list the greater sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act because of continuing efforts by states and federal agencies to protect the bird’s habitat.

Critics argue new regulations for public land use imposed as an alternative to a listing are just as onerous and would hurt rural economies by curtailing mining, ranching and energy development.

The attorney general’s office and other counties added their names to the suit when an amended complaint against the federal government was filed Oct. 22.

Du, in a two-page order limiting the scope of Tuesday’s hearing, said the “added” plaintiffs didn’t join in the motion for a preliminary injunction until last Thursday, less than a week away from the scheduled hearing.

“Unsurprisingly, the motion and related briefs do not address the claims of the additional plaintiffs, nor how the additional plaintiffs can satisfy their burden in seeking preliminary injunctive relief …,” Du wrote.

She also noted she agreed to hear the case on an expedited basis and that the added plaintiffs, including the AG’s office, had “ample time” to join in the request for an injunction “yet waited until the verge of the scheduled hearing” to file their motion with the court.

Laxalt and Sandoval, both Republicans, exchanged testy statements in late October when Laxalt announced he was joining the lawsuit.

Laxalt said the lawsuit was necessary to protect Nevada’s interests. Sandoval, who hasn’t ruled out litigation over the land regulations, argued that Laxalt’s lawsuit was premature and would undermine efforts to reach a resolution through on-going discussions with federal agencies.

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt says he’s encouraged that a federal appeals court ruled against a presidential order on immigration.

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt says he’s encouraged that a federal appeals court ruled against a presidential order on immigration.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld a Texas-based judge’s injunction blocking the Obama administration’s immigration initiative, which aims to protect about 5 million people from deportation.

Nevada is one of 26 states that sued to block the executive order. Laxalt signed Nevada onto the suit early this year without prior consent from Gov. Brian Sandoval in a move that exposed a rift between the two Republicans.

Laxalt said Tuesday that the court’s 2-1 ruling affirms the Constitution and illustrates that everyone including the president needs to follow the law.

Nevada Democratic Rep. Dina Titus criticized the decision, saying it continues a politically motivated lawsuit.

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt is hosting the inaugural Basque Fry on Saturday at a ranch in Gardnerville. Republican presidential candidates Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and George Pataki are scheduled to attend.

Adam_Laxalt_mug_t198

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt says he hopes his Basque-themed gathering of Republican presidential candidates this weekend will become a can’t-miss campaign stop and spawn copycats in the Silver State.

Laxalt is hosting the inaugural Basque Fry on Saturday at a ranch in Gardnerville. Republican presidential candidates Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and George Pataki are scheduled to attend.

Laxalt says the $35-per-person barbecue isn’t a fundraiser and aims to give everyday voters a chance to talk with candidates. It’s modeled after similar gatherings in early vote states, such as the Harkin Steak Fry that attracted Democratic candidates for four decades in Iowa.

The event carries on a tradition from Laxalt’s Basque grandfather, former Nevada governor and Sen. Paul Laxalt, who held similar barbecues for 30 years.

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt has joined five other states in protesting National Labor Relations Board plans to change a 30 year old labor standard.

adam_laxaltNevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt has joined five other states in protesting National Labor Relations Board plans to change a 30 year old labor standard.

He said the change redefined the legal standard for joint employer status replacing what he said was a clear rule with a “vague and unworkable economic realities test.” He said that would expose businesses to liability for workers they don’t actually employ.

“Unnecessarily changing this decades-old standard hurts Nevada’s companies, including our small businesses, which could lead to fewer jobs in this state,” Laxalt said.

The existing standard says a company is a joint employer only if the company shares “direct and immediate control over the terms and conditions of employment with another company.”

Changing that rule, he said, could create problems especially for franchise businesses and specialty subcontractors.

Nevada AG Laxalt files suit against EPA

adam_laxaltNevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt has filed suit accusing the Environmental Protection Agency of failing to meet a statutory deadline on the air quality standards for Ozone.

EPA was required to approve, partially approve or deny the interstate transport part of that plan by Oct. 10 of last year.

Laxalt said the suit was filed because an environmental group gave notice it planned to sue EPA. He said in the past, EPA and those groups have resolved lawsuits without getting input from the states and resolved them in ways that have had negative impacts on the states.

He said Nevada filed its own lawsuit to preserve its part in the settlement process and make sure the results of any deal are in the state’s best interest.

“Like they have done before, environmental groups are trying to work out a side deal with the EPA that leaves everyone else including Nevadans without a seat at the table,” Laxalt said. “We want to ensure that is not the outcome this time.”

At the same time, the Western Energy Alliance plans to testify before the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee Aug. 8 on the practice referred to as “sue-and-settle” arguing that those closed door negotiations exclude the public, elected officials and state and local governments as well as businesses from the room. That hearing will be held in Washington, D.C.