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Fouke Co. v. Brown

Citation: 9 ELR 20113
No. No. CIV. S-78-398-PCW, 463 F. Supp. 1142/(E.D. Cal., 01/15/1979)

The court declares California statutes prohibiting imports of certain species of animals, or the parts thereof, for commercial purposes unconstitutional and unenforceable with respect to the American alligator because they conflict with § 6 of the federal Endangered Species Act. Prior to the adoption of the California laws, processed American alligator hides were regularly imported into California, fabricated into consumer products, and sold to the public. Plaintiff The Fouke Co. holds a permit, issued under the federal Act by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, authorizing it to make commercial use of alligator hides. Section 6 of the Act explicitly preempts any state law to the extent that it prohibits an activity authorized pursuant to a permit issued under the Act. The court grants summary judgment declaring that the California statutes are therefore unconstitutional under the Supremacy Clause to the extent that they prohibit importation of American alligator hides and permanently enjoins defendants from enforcing these provisions with respect to such hides.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Donald M. Pach, Inc.
555 Capitol Mall, Suite 280, Sacramento CA 95814
(916) 446-1438

Wayne B. Wright
McDonald, Wright & Bryan
555 Capitol Mall, Suite 280, Sacramento CA 95814
(916) 446-1438

Counsel for Defendants
Evelle J. Younger, Attorney General; R. H. Connett, Ass't Attorney General; Raymond H. Williamson, Deputy Attorney General
555 Capitol Mall, Suite 350, Sacramento CA 95814
(916) 445-5305