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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Whales Lack Standing To Sue Bush And Rumsfeld

Cetacean Community v. Bush, et al. (PDF), an opinion authored by Ninth Circuit Judge William A. Fletcher and published today, begins as follows:

We are asked to decide whether the world's cetaceans have standing to bring suit in their own name under the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. We hold that cetaceans do not have standing under these statutes.

According to their counsel, the cetaceans are disturbed about the Navy's use of Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active Sonar during wartime or heightened threat conditions, which apparently does no good at all to cetaceans and other sea life. I have not closely read the opinion or listened to the audio (WMA) of the oral argument, but suspect the cetaceans might have had greater success if they had once again persuaded the NRDC to pursue claims on their behalf.

[P.S.] Please note the considerable restraint it took to refrain from heretofore using the phrase "Free Willy" in connection with this post...

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