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.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

4 Responses to 9th Circuit makes it easier for citizens to temporarily stop a gov't project

  1. avatar mikepost says:

    Unfortunately the 9th curcuit has the highest level of overturned cases in the country, often due to flawed analysis. They were literally “chewed out” by the USSC on the last case overturned for poor legal thought processes.
    Dont put your hopes in this leaky bucket.

    • avatar JB says:

      It is interesting that you would place the blame squarely on the shoulders of 9th Circuit justices. I would think it would be intuitive that the most liberal federal court in the nation (the only one where the majority of justices were appointed by democrats) would be overturned by an extremely conservative Supreme Court?

      Ideological reasoning works both ways.

      • avatar mikepost says:

        Yes, but it has been going on for 30 years so you cant blame it all on Bush appointees…the 9th has been out of sync with all the other courts for most of that time.

        It is a shame that, as JimT comments, their horrible rep leaves them easy to attack and important issues lose out.

  2. avatar JimT says:

    There are a number of law review pieces on standing and the particular animosity Scalia has for environmental cases and the issue of standing. It would NOT be a good thing if he got another crack at this particular issue. You can probably find them on line someplace with a seach with Scalia and environmental standing decisions as keywords.

    I read that piece on the so called scolding of the 9th circuit by Justice Kennedy. If you read the article, the admonishment is really quite mild given some decisions I have read in the past. Conservatives have been trying to break up the 9th circuit for decades because they actually dare to rule in other ways besides what pleases the conservatives in this country. I agree with JB…it is inevitable given this Supreme Court that the two courts would agree on everything. It is a good thing to have an independent Circuit..

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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