Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Humane Society Of The U.S. v. Kempthorne

Jun 3: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case Nos. 06-5396 & 06-5397. Dirk Kempthorne, Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior (Secretary), the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) of the Department of the Interior (Interior) and H. Dale Hall, Director of the FWS (collectively Federal appellants), together with the Safari Club International and Safari Club International Foundation (collectively Safari Club), appeal the district court judgment enjoining the FWS “from authorizing the lethal take of any more gray wolves for depredation control purposes” by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Wisconsin DNR).

The Humane Society of the United States (Humane Society) and other environmental organizations had sought the injunction because, in their view, the gray wolf, as an endangered species, could not be the object of a lethal depredation control program under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The district court agreed. While the appeal was pending, Interior removed the gray wolf
population located in the Western Great Lakes Region (which includes Wisconsin) from the endangered species list [72 FR 6052, 2/8/07. The parties agreed that the delisting moots the appeal.

The Federal appellants and the Safari Club have moved to vacate the district court judgment and the Humane Society opposes vacatur. The Appeals Court granted the appellants’ motion and vacated the district court judgment saying, ". . .vacatur was sought by non-governmental intervenors. And 'because the party seeking appellate relief is not the party responsible for mooting the case, the orderly operation of the appellate system is not being frustrated.'"

Access the complete opinion (
click here).

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