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Named Individual Members of the San Antonio Conservation Soc'y v. Texas Highway Dep't

ELR Citation: 4 ELR 20643
Nos. No. 30915, 496 F.2d 1017/6 ERC 1881/(5th Cir., 07/05/1974) Subsequent dismissal aff'd

The court rules that the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1973 terminated federal involvement in a proposed section of a highway passing through parklands and thereby manifested Congress' intent to exempt the roadway from the requirements of NEPA and §4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act. The court rules that the deliberate exemption of this section of highway from such strictures by the Congress did not constitute a denial of due process as to the plaintiffs, and that the section has independent utility that justifies its status as a nonfederal highway, exempt from federal environmental laws. The court denies plaintiff's claim for attorney fees for any stage of the lengthy litigation, either before or after congressional exemption, upon a finding that fees in the instant case are barred by the eleventh amendment, and that cases in which fees were awarded because of bad faith, obdurate behavior, or under the private attorney general theory against non-state defendants are inapposite. For earlier rulings in the case, see 1 ELR 20069 and 1 ELR 20379. See also Comment, More on Attorney's Fees: Does the Eleventh Amendment Bar Awards Against State Agencies and Officials? 4 ELR 10132.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
John W. Vardaman Jr.
1000 Hill Building
Washington, DC 20006

Counsel for Defendants
William S. Sessions U.S. Attorney
Edward M. Johnson Asst. U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 1701
San Antonio, TX 78206

Lynn Taylor Asst. Attorney General
Larry F. York Asst. Attorney General
P.O. Box 12548
Capitol Station
Austin, TX 78711

Leonard Schaitman
Judith S. Feigin
Department of Justice
Washington, DC 20530

Samuel D. McDaniel
1100 City National Bank Building
Austin, TX 78701

Counsel for Amicus Curiae Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
Hubert W. Green
900 Alamo National Building
San Antonio, TX 78205

Counsel for Amicus Curiae City of San Antonio
Crawford B. Reeder City Attorney
P.O. Box 9066
San Antonio, TX 78285