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Rancho Viejo, Ltd. Liab. Corp. v. Norton

Citation: 33 ELR 20163
No. No. 01-5373, (D.C. Cir., 04/01/2003) Aff'd

The court holds that application of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to a commercial housing development that threatened the continued existence of the arroyo southwestern toad, an endangered species, was a constitutional exercise of federal authority under the U.S. Commerce Clause. The court previously held in National Ass'n of Home Builders v. Babbitt, 130 F.3d 1041, 28 ELR 20403 (D.C. Cir. 1997) (NAHB), that the take provision of ESA §9, and its application to the facts of that case, constituted a valid exercise of the U.S. Congress’ commerce power. Here, the developer's attack on the constitutionality of the application of the ESA to its commercial housing development is indistinguishable from the attack the court turned back in NAHB, and nothing in subsequent U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence has undermined the precedential authority of that decision.

[A prior decision in this litigation is published at 32 ELR 20112.]

Counsel for Appellant
John C. Eastman
Rancho Viejo
1031 Highway 90-A, E. Bernard TX 77435
(956) 335-7555

Counsel for Appellees
Katherine J. Barton
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000