Polar Bear Litigation Updates
Judge Wilken of the Northern District of California has issued several orders in the past two weeks dealing with ongoing polar bear litigation. On October 2, Judge Wilken issued one order denying the reconsideration motions of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association (AOGA) and Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC), regarding the court's previous order partially granting intervention. The court upheld its earlier decision. The same day, the court issued another order tentatively granting Defenders of Wildlife's motion to intervene as a plaintiff to challenge the Service's 4(d) rule. The court's order is conditioned on Defenders' agreement with the existing plaintiffs on submitting joint briefing and sharing oral argument time. Finally, on October 10, Judge Wilken issued an order denying AOGA's motion to transfer the case to the District of Alaska; the court also took under submission the defendants' motion to transfer venue to the District of Columbia pending resolution of an already-filed venue transfer motion before the Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to transfer the case to DC.