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Mount Graham Coalition v. Thomas

ELR Citation: 27 ELR 20218
Nos. No. 96-16017, 89 F.3d 554/(9th Cir., 06/17/1996)

The court holds that legislation applying the Arizona-Idaho Conservation Act exemption from Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements to the construction of an observatory on a site in endangered red squirrel habitat does not violate the separation of powers doctrine. The district court had previously entered a declaratory judgment enjoining the observatory's construction on the site absent compliance with the ESA and NEPA. The court holds that the legislation does not impermissibly overturn a final judgment of an Article III court. The legislation does not purport to revive a dead claim, but rather, has present and future, not retroactive, effect. Further, that the legislation is targeted at a single controversy does not render it suspect. Thus, the court denies environmental-groups plaintiffs' motion to stay dissolution of the district court's injunction.

[Prior decisions in related litigation are published at 22 ELR 20391, 23 ELR 20691, and 25 ELR 20904.]

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Eric R. Glitzenstein
Meyer & Glitzenstein
1601 Connecticut Ave. NW, Ste. 450, Washington DC 20009

Counsel for Defendants
David C. Todd
Patton & Boggs
2550 M St. NW, Washington DC 20037
(202) 457-6000

Before: CANBY, JOHN T. NOONAN, and LEAVY, Circuit Judges.