Thursday, November 14, 2013

Center for Biological Diversity v. Lohn case brief

Center for Biological Diversity v. Lohn case brief
483 F.3d 984

CASE SYNOPSIS: Plaintiff environmental group brought an action against defendant government in which it challenged a proposed determination by the National Marine Fisheries Service (Service) to not list the Southern Resident killer whale as an endangered species. The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington found the Service's policy valid but ordered the Service to reexamine its determination. The group appealed.

FACTS: Pursuant to the district court's order the Service reexamined the listing petition and ultimately issued a final rule listing the Southern Resident as an endangered species. The group challenged the determination that the Service's distinct population segment policy (DPS Policy) was valid and asked the appellate court to declare the DPS Policy unlawful and instruct the Service to not apply the DPS Policy when it made a final determination with regard to the Southern Resident. 

  • The appellate court found that the matter was moot because the Service had declared the Southern Resident as an endangered species which was the relief the group sought. 
  • That the DPS Policy could adversely affect the Southern Resident's endangered species status or the Service's listing determination of certain other killer whale populations at some indeterminate time in the future was too remote and too speculative a consideration to save the case from mootness. 
  • Because the case became moot on appeal the established practice was to vacate the judgment.
CONCLUSION: The order was vacated and the case was remanded with instructions to dismiss the case as moot.

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