January 9, 2018

Hannity covers PLF’s Markle case now pending at the Supreme Court

By Mark Miller Senior Attorney

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would continue considering whether to grant review in PLF’s important Endangered Species Act case known as Markle v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. In 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated more than 1,500 acres of land in Louisiana as a “critical habitat” for the rare dusky gopher frog. This includes land owned by our client, business owner Ed Poitevent. The trouble is, this frog species has not lived anywhere near Ed’s land in more than 50 years. Nor is his land even suitable for the frog. The Service even admitted the frog could never live on Ed’s land without serious changes to the property, changes Ed and his family would never make.

That doesn’t matter to the feds. They want to control Ed’s property and now they do, barring Supreme Court intervention. Because under the Endangered Species Act, the critical habitat designation prevents Ed and his fellow landowners from using their own land as they wish in the future without permission from the Fish & Wildlife Service.

Pacific Legal Foundation has been fighting for Ed and his family’s business, Markle Interests, LLC, since the very beginning, when the feds first forced their way onto his property with their bogus designation. When the case began, the Hannity program featured our client’s story and the case. That video is worth watching again as we wait for the Supreme Court’s decision. Here it is:

The High Court will consider the case this Friday, and we should learn soon thereafter if they will hear this important property rights case.

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Weyerhaeuser/Markle v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

As a child, Edward Poitevent’s family cut down Christmas trees on their lumber-rich land in Louisiana, and one day he’d like to leave the property to his own children. But federal bureaucrats jeopardized his legacy when they declared nearly 1,500 acres of his family’s private land as a critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog—a species not seen in the state for more than 50 years. Neither the Endangered Species Act nor congressional intent justifies such government-sanctioned property theft. Represented by PLF, Edward sued to defend his constitutionally protected property rights. In a unanimous decision announced November 27, 2018, the High Court agreed with Edward that the Fish and Wildlife Service overstepped its authority with the critical habitat designation and the Court remanded the case so that the lower court could consider Edward’s arguments anew.

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