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Congressional Wolf Delisting and the Erosion of the Separation-of- Powers Doctrine

October 2012

Citation: 42 ELR 10993

Issue: 10

Author: Kelci Block

The long legal fight over wolf reintroduction in the Northern Rocky Mountains came to a close in 2011, when Congress intervened in the ongoing court case by delisting the wolves through an appropriations bill rider. Though removal of Endangered Species Act protections by this method has exposed the Northern Rocky Mountain wolves to hunting, a deeper problem has been exposed in the doctrine of separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches. The current approach essentially removes any barrier for Congress to meddle in ongoing court cases.

Kelci Block is a third-year student at William and Mary Law School.

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