D.C. Circuit Rejects Challenges to Polar Bear Listing

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This morning the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit handed down a unanimous opinion rejecting both industry and environmentalist group challenges to the Fish & Wildlife Service’s decision to list the polar as a “threatened” species.  Environmentalist groups argued the FWS should have listed the polar bear as “endangered.  Industry groups and their allies thought the polar bear should not have been listed at all.  Applying the highly deferential review that is customary in these sorts of cases, the panel had little difficulty dispatching both sides’ claims.  While there are some questions about the FWS’ critical habitat designation for the polar bear, which was thrown out by a federal district court judge in separate litigation, my sense is that the D.C. Circuit got this one right.  A federal agency’s assessment of the relevant scientific literature is due substantial deference.

I have prior posts on the polar bear listing and litigation herehere, and here.  See also this article from The New Atlantis.

Cross-posted at the Volokh Conspiracy.

PERC Senior Fellow Jonathan Adler
PERC Senior Fellow Jonathan Adler is the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a prolific scholar, publishing on such topics as regulatory takings, water marketing, fisheries management, and the judicial limits of federal environmental regulation.He is the...
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