Court reverses ruling on Endangered Species Act regulations
Compiled by Georgia Farm Bureau
On Sept. 21, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals acted to temporarily reinstate Farm Bureau-backed regulations to enforce the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The Circuit Court ruled that a district court improperly vacated 2019 ESA revisions, determining that the lower court erred by reversing the regulations without determining whether they were actually unlawful.
“We appreciate [the] ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals,” said American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall. “The revisions to the Endangered Species Act protected at-risk animals while ensuring farmers could continue feeding America’s families. This ruling doesn’t bring an end to the debate about modernizing the ESA, but it sends an important message to the 9th Circuit lower courts that their job is to rule based on the law. They can no longer vacate a rule unless they determine it is unlawful.”
On July 5, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, responding to a complaint by environmentalist groups, blocked ESA regulations that were modernized in 2019. The Washington Cattlemen’s Association and other groups appealed the district court ruling to the 9th Circuit Court.
This is the second appellate ruling to favor AFBF in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in the past month. In August, the court overturned a lower court’s ruling that prohibited AFBF from defending the delisting of the gray wolf.