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Save Our Springs Alliance v. Babbitt

ELR Citation: 27 ELR 21152
Nos. 97-50102, 115 F.3d 346/(5th Cir., 06/23/1997)

The court affirms a district court decision that Texas' motion to intervene in a suit challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's withdrawal of a proposal to list the Barton Springs salamander as an endangered species was untimely. Texas has offered no plausible explanation why it delayed nearly three months after the suit was filed before filing its motion to intervene, waiting until the very day before initial briefs were due. Further, Texas has not identified any independent event from which the court might measure the timeliness of its application to intervene. The fact that Texas itself is most knowledgeable about its own regulatory scheme and that the federal government is unlikely to support a constitutional challenge to the Endangered Species Act are not recent developments that would explain the delay. And in view of the long, politically charged, and contentious history of this litigation, Texas cannot claim that it required three months to analyze the basis of the lawsuit so that it could determine whether to intervene.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
William Bunch
Save Our Springs Alliance
1104 Nueces St., Ste. 3, Austin TX 78701
(512) 477-2320

Counsel for Defendant
Samuel M. Goodhope
Moore, Rasmussen, Kading & Kunstle
300 N. Dakota Ave., Ste. 400, Sioux Falls SD 57101
(605) 336-1730/(512) 463-2191

Before JOLLY, DUHE, and EMILIO M. GARZA, Circuit Judges.