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September 30, 2017

Weekly litigation report — September 30, 2017

Government workers have another chance to declare independence! Supreme Court asked to restore Utah prairie dog conservation program—and constitutional limits on federal power Neither legislative bodies nor government bureaucrats can steal property National Forest lands should be accessible to all — not just a few hearty backpackers PLF ...

May 15, 2017

PLF petitions for rehearing in Utah prairie dog case

This morning, we filed a petition for rehearing en banc in People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service—our challenge to the federal government’s constitutional authority to regulate take of the Utah prairie dog. Three years ago, the District Court for the District of Utah ruled the regulation unc ...

March 30, 2017

Tenth Circuit overturns Utah prairie dog decision

We got some disappointing news yesterday when the Tenth Circuit overturned the federal district court’s decision that federal regulations prohibiting the take of Utah prairie dogs exceed the federal government’s constitutional powers. As you may not recall, since more than 18 months passed between oral argument and the decision, PLF is ...

February 03, 2016

Are states better than the feds at protecting endangered species?

In honor of Groundhog Day, WildEarth Guardians released its annual report card for federal and state management of prairie dogs. Unsurprisingly, the environmental group isn’t too fond of PLF’s victory on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners (PETPO). Yet it’s judgment of the relative quality of federal and ...

January 22, 2016

The Commerce Clause isn't a "do-whatever-you-feel-like" power

In an article published today by the Federalist Society’s Engage, I discuss PLF’s constitutional challenge to the Endangered Species Act in the prairie dog case. As you’ll recall, we represented People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners — a group of Utah residents who have suffered for decades under federal regulat ...

September 30, 2015

Recording of 10th Circuit argument in Utah prairie dog case

The Endangered Species & Wetlands Report has obtained the recording of the Monday’s oral argument in the Utah prairie dog case. As you’ll recall, this is the constitutional challenge to the federal government’s authority to regulate any activity that affects any living thing under the Commerce Clause. As we argue, the Commerce ...

September 21, 2015

Oral argument in PLF's prairie dog case Sept. 28

Next week, I’ll be arguing People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners’ case against the unconstitutional Utah prairie dog regulation in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado. The argument will be at 9 am mountain time at the Byron White Courthouse at 1823 Stout Street. As you’ll recall, this is the ...

June 12, 2015

ICYMI: Capitol Hill event on the constitutional limits of the Endangered Species Act (ESA)

On Tuesday, June 2, 2015, Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) and Competitive Enterprise Institute held a joint event on Capitol Hill to discuss the constitutional limits of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). With U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) providing opening remarks, it was a terrific panel discussion with a standing-ro ...

June 09, 2015

There are many ways to protect endangered species

If species aren’t protected under the Endangered Species Act’s burdensome approach, they’ll receive no protection at all. This is an all too common refrain. But it’s a false choice. There are many ways to try to conserve and recover species. The ESA’s punitive approach is not the only one, nor even the best one. Take ...

June 01, 2015

Is it the Commerce Clause or the Future Commerce Clause?

The Utah prairie dog regulation prohibits the “take” (harassing, hunting, etc.) of prairie dogs on private land. The federal government, which has only the enumerated powers granted to it by the Constitution, says it can regulate purely intrastate species like prairie dogs under its power to regulate interstate commerce. The People for ...

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