Supreme Court rebuffs ranchers on Mexican Spotted Owl

A welcome surprise-

High court rejects appeal in spotted owl dispute. “The Supreme Court has decided to let stand a Bush administration designation of 8.6 million acres in four Western states as critical habitat for an endangered owl.” Associated Press.

9th Circuit makes it easier for citizens to temporarily stop a gov’t project

Court of Appeals limits scope of Supreme Court decision and overturns Judge Molloy-

A couple years ago in Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council the U. S. Supreme Court continued its trend toward make it harder to temporarily stop government actions before irreparable harm was done. Applying this viewpoint, Montana federal district Judge Molloy let a timber sale begin and many trees were cut while conservationists were seeking an injunction on the sale so that their arguments could be heard.  This made it so if they won, they would not win because the project they sought to halt was completed.  Fortunately, in my view, the 9th Circuit overturned Molloy. This will allow  citizens to more easily get an injunction if they have strong arguments.

The precedent is not simple, but it does strengthen the hand of those opposing government projects from having their cases made moot by letting government build a powerline or whatever while the powerline, etc. is being litigated.

Appeals Court Rejects U.S. Request for Rehearing in Mont. Timber Case. By Lawrence Hurley of Greenwire. New York Times.

Supreme Court Denies 3 High-Profile Environmental Cases

High Court does not review three big cases from appeals court-

I’ve been really worried about the Supreme Court. In January they turned Toyota, Walmart, AT and T, and all for-profit corporations into people. It was only fair, they said. Corporations need to be able to fight back. Too many average Americans take them into the alley every day and beat the hell out of them.

“Common sense” is a word I don’t like much. That’s cause my common sense is different than my friend who runs the antique shop and rancher who trespasses all over my property. Still,  the Supreme Court doesn’t seem to have common sense.

So I was worried when I read “Supreme Court Denies 3 High-Profile Environmental Cases” in the New York Times (By GABRIEL NELSON)

Surprise though. Turns out when they decided not to look at these cases it was a victory for the environment. Two of them were a big victory for our health . . . one for wildlife habitat.

Enviros back Sotomayor for Supreme Court

Likely new Justice expected to help stem anti-environmental trend by the Court’s activist conservative justices-

The last term of the Supreme Court was the most anti-environmental in memory, ruling against conservation groups in all cases. New Chief Justice Roberts joined with Justice Scalia and other conservative justices to ignore settled law, and precedent,* so to weaken laws and regulations to protect the environment (and other areas of the law).

Sotomeyer’s record, according to these groups, is neutral without a built in bias against environmental protection laws. She will replace David Souter, who generally favored the settled interpretation of environmental law. Therefore, President Obama will need to replace several more Justices before the trend can really be reversed.

Story: Enviros back Sotomayor for Supreme Court. by Lisa Hymas. Grist

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The word “judicial activist,*” which generally has a negative connotation, refers to judges that rule broadly when there is no necessity to do so in a case, and interpose their own policy views to overturn precedent and, in effect, re-write the laws by consistently interpreting unclear portions of them in just one direction.

The word has been used for years by conservatives to attack liberal judges, but in fact, activism has become the conservative’s judicial weapon of choice in recent years.

Activism is not always a negative feature, especially when over the years a series of precedents have led to absurdities when compared to the realities of a situation.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor: an environmental pragmatist

Will she bring some balance back to a Supreme Court dominated by conservative judicial activists?

Judge Sonia Sotomayor: an environmental pragmatist. By Jean Williams.