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Man Hing Ivory & Imports, Inc. v. Deukmejian

ELR Citation: 13 ELR 20477
Nos. No. 82-4303, 702 F.2d 760/(9th Cir., 03/11/1983)

The court rules that a California statute banning trade in African elephant products is preempted by §6(f) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) but not by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). CITES does not preempt the California statute because it expressly allows signatories and their subdivisions to adopt stricter protections for endangered species. However, the ESA does preempt the California statute. Section 6(f) of the ESA declares void any state law that applies to international trade in endangered species permitted or authorized by the ESA regulations. The regulations, which list the African elephant as an endangered species, permit limited trade in elephant products. Therefore, they preclude enforcement of the California statute. Furthermore, although the permits are conditioned on compliance with state law, the court rules that this limitation only applies to health, quarantine, customs, and agricultural laws.

Counsel for Appellants
Joel S. Moskowitz, Ass't Attorney General
555 Capitol Mall, Suite 350, Sacramento CA 95814
(916) 445-9555

Counsel for Appellee
Stanley W. Smith
Niven & Smith
50 California St., San Francisco CA 94111
(415) 981-5451

Before SCHROEDER, FLETCHER, and NORRIS, Circuit Judges.