GDF Realty Investments v. Norton
- Case Date: 9/3/2004
- Project Name: Environmental Law Project
On June 3, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review an appeals court decision that gives the federal Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) virtually unlimited authority to regulate local land development across the country in the name of protecting endangered species. The Supreme Court's action was a setback for WLF, which filed a brief asking the Court to hear the case. The case involved FWS's refusal to permit a Texas landowner to develop its own property, because development might disturb certain beetles that live in nearby caves. WLF argued that the Commerce Clause does not permit the federal government to exercise control over private property when, as here, the beetles the government seeks to protect have no commercial value and have no effect on interstate commerce. WLF noted that the lower courts are split on the extent to which the Commerce Clause restricts federal efforts to protect endangered species; WLF had urged the court to hear the case in order to resolve that conflict.
More Information and Downloads:
9/3/2004: Download the Brief
Litigation Update: Supreme Court Declines To Review Important Endangered Species Case