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Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Salazar

ELR Citation: 42 ELR 20057
Nos. 11-35661, -35670, (9th Cir., 03/14/2012)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision denying an environmental group's request to enjoin the implementation of a statute, §1713 of the 2011 Appropriations Act, that orders the Secretary of the Interior to remove a portion of a distinct population of gray wolves from the protections of the ESA. Section 1713 effectively undid an earlier district court decision that found that such an action by the government, a “partial delisting,” would violate the ESA. The group argued that §1713 violated the separation of powers doctrine. But there is no separation of powers violation here because Congress directed an agency to take particular action challenged in pending litigation by changing the law applicable to that case. Congress did not repeal any part of the ESA. Rather, Congress amended the law applicable to the agency action.