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Polar Bear: Related Cases

Case Name Citation Summary
Center for Biological Diversity v. Kempthorne   Slip Copy, 2008 WL 4543043 (N.D.Cal.)  

In an action alleging multiple violations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) pursuant to Defendants’ final rule designating the polar bear as threatened and promulgation of a special rule under section 4(d) of the ESA, Defendants Kempthorne and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service brought a motion to transfer the case to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Intervenor-Defendant Arctic Slope Regional Corporation brought a separate motion to transfer the case to the District of Alaska, and Intervenor-Defendant Alaska Oil and Gas Association filed a motion with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL Panel) seeking to transfer the case to the D.C. District Court.  The United States District Court, N.D. California denied the motion to transfer the case to the District of Alaska, and decided to take the motion to transfer to the District of Columbia into submission and rule on it once the MDL Panel has issued its decision on whether to transfer the case to the District of Columbia.

 
Center for Biological Diversity v. Kempthorne   2008 WL 4542947 (N.D.Cal.)  

Plaintiffs brought various claims against Defendants relating to Defendants’ final rule designating the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and Defendants’ promulgation of a special rule under section 4(d) of the ESA, allowing certain activities with respect to the polar bear that might otherwise be prohibited.  The United States District Court, N.D. California tentatively granted a non-profit organization’s motion to intervene with respect to the action challenging Defendants’ section 4(d) rule as contrary to the ESA, finding that although the Organization did not show that the current Plaintiffs will not adequately represent the Organization’s interest, a decision for Defendants could jeopardize the Organization’s interests and the Organization’s motion was timely.

 
Center for Biological Diversity v. Kempthorne   2008 WL 1902703 (N.D.Cal. 2008)  

Plaintiff Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) seeks to compel Defendants to perform their mandatory duty under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to publish a final listing determination for the polar bear. Plaintiffs have filed a summary judgment motion seeking an injunction and declaratory judgment to this effect. The action began back in 2005 when CBD petitioned to list the polar bear as endangered under the ESA.  Plaintiffs' action arises from Defendants' failure to issue a final listing determination and critical habitat designation by January 9, 2008-within one year of publication of the proposed rule-as required by the ESA (16 U.S.C. § 1533(b)(6)). Since Defendants missed this non-discretionary deadline, and there was no dispute of material fact, summary judgment was granted by the court.

 
In re Polar Bear Endangered Species Act Listing and Section 4(d) Rule Litigation-MDL No.1993 United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.   --- F.3d ----, 2013 WL 2991027 (D.C. Cir. 2013)   Hunters and hunting organizations sued the Secretary of Interior, the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Service itself after the Service listed the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and barred the importation of polar bear trophies under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). On appeal, the appeals court affirmed the lower court’s decision to grant the defendants' motion of summary judgment.  
In re Polar Bear Endangered Species Act Listing and § 4(d) Rule Litigation   627 F.Supp.2d 16 (D.D.C.,2009)  

Plaintiffs Safari Club International and Safari Club International Foundation brought this action under the APA challenging the FWS's legal determination that the listing of the Polar Bear as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act was a final agency action. At issue here is defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on the grounds that plaintiffs fail to challenge a final agency action as required for judicial review under the APA. Alternatively, defendants argue that the plaintiffs lack standing to bring this action. This Court found that the action challenged by SCI and SCIF is final agency action for purposes of judicial review pursuant to the APA. On the issue of standing, defendants argue that plaintiffs' suit must be dismissed for lack of standing because plaintiffs have not alleged facts to establish that they have suffered an injury-in-fact. The court disagreed, finding that the plaintiffs have sufficiently pleaded that the “procedures in question” threaten a “concrete interest" - an interest in conservation that is impacted by the import ban. Defendants Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings was denied.

 

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