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Humane Society v. Jewell: The Court Cries Wolf

January 2016

Citation: ELR 10020

Author: Edward A. Fitzgerald

In Humane Society of the United States v. Jewell, a federal district court invalidated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) delisting of wolves in the western Great Lakes (WGL) Distinct Population Segment. This decision culminated a long history of litigation over wolves in the WGL region, and has generated a political backlash, with congressional attempts to delist wolves and to weaken the ESA itself. The author argues that the Jewell court’s analysis is erroneous on several central legal issues. As a policy matter, delisting the WGL wolves and returning them to state control should increase social tolerance of wolves, which is key to the long-term survival of the wolf.

Edward Fitzgerald is a Professor of Political Science at Wright State University.

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