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Center for Biological Diversity v. Zinke

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20075
Nos. 3:17-cv-00091, (D. Alaska, 05/09/2018) (Gleason, J.)

A district court dismissed an environmental group's lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Congressional Review Act (CRA), under which Congress recently passed a resolution disapproving an FWS rule that prohibited certain hunting and trapping practices on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska. The CRA allows for congressional disapproval of rules promulgated by administrative agencies. The group argued that the CRA and Congress' disapproval of the FWS rule violate the separation of powers doctrine because, through this action, Congress restricted DOI's authority without amending the underlying statutes that grant DOI its authority to manage National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska. But the disapproval bill was passed by both the House and Senate and submitted to the President for approval, as required by the CRA and the Constitution. And the CRA was also passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by the President. As such, the claims lack merit. The court therefore dismissed the lawsuit.