Description: Challenge to amendments to Endangered Species Act regulations.
California v. Bernhardt
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 07/28/2022 Motion Download Joint motion to alter or amend order and judgment filed by plaintiffs. The plaintiffs, who had requested vacatur, asked the court to amend or alter the judgment to resolve on the merits the issue of whether the FWS and NMFS failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when they promulgated the 2019 regulations. The plaintiffs said a ruling that the FWS and NMFS violated NEPA would make vacatur the standard remedy and ensure that the regulations were not reinstated, which would be an “unjust result.” 07/25/2022 Opposition Download Joint opposition filed by plaintiffs to intervenors' joint motion for expedited decision on motion for stay pending appeal. 07/21/2022 Motion Download Joint motion for expedited decision without oral argument on motion for stay pending appeal filed by intervenors. 07/21/2022 Motion Download Joint time-sensitive motion for stay pending appeal filed by intervenors. Intervenors Appealed and Sought Stay. Three sets of intervenors appealed: private landowner intervenors, 13 states led by Alabama, and industry intervenors including the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Forest Resource Council, and American Petroleum Institute. Intervenors also moved for stay of the vacatur, arguing that the Supreme Court’s April 2022 order staying a district court’s vacatur of another regulation (concerning state water quality certifications under the Clean Water Act) called the district court’s authority to vacate the regulations with out reaching the merits into question. 07/21/2022 Notice of Appeal Download Notice of appeal filed by private landowner intervenors. 07/21/2022 Notice of Appeal Download Notice of appeal filed by state defendant-intervenors. 07/21/2022 Notice of Appeal Download Notice of appeal filed by industry intervenors. 07/05/2022 Order Download Case remanded and regulations vacated. Federal Court Vacated Trump-Era Endangered Species Act Regulations. The federal district court for the Northern District of California vacated and remanded the 2019 revisions to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) regulations after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) indicated they had substantial concerns with the amended regulations and said they intended to propose revisions. (The federal defendants had requested voluntary remand without vacatur.) The challenged regulations included a revised definition of “foreseeable future” that provided that “foreseeable future” extends “only so far into the future as the Services can reasonably determine that both the future threats and the species’ responses to those threats are likely.” The complaint alleged that this requirement that threats be “likely” “increased the level of certainty required to protect species, contravening Congress’s intent to ‘give the benefit of the doubt to the species’” and that “[t]he consequence of imposing this increased certainty requirement is that species facing extinction from the impacts of climate change or other future events involving prediction and uncertainty will improperly be deprived of protection until after it is too late to prevent their extinction, violating the ESA’s command to use the best available science.” 03/12/2022 Brief Download Supplemental brief filed by industry defendant-intervenors re defendants' motion for voluntary remand. 03/12/2022 Brief Download Joint supplemental brief filed by plaintiffs re: motion for remand without vacatur. 03/12/2022 Brief Download Supplemental brief filed by private landowner intervenors re federal defendants' motion for voluntary remand. 03/12/2022 Brief Download Supplemental brief filed by state intervenors re: federal defendants' motion for voluntary remand without vacatur. 10/15/2021 Motion for Summary Judgment Download Re-filed motion for summary judgment filed by state plaintiffs. 10/07/2021 Order Defendants' motion to stay denied. 08/13/2021 Motion Download Motion to stay filed by federal defendants. 08/02/2021 Order Order issued administratively terminating motions for summary judgment. 02/16/2021 Order Download Joint stipulation to stay proceedings for 60 days so-ordered. 05/18/2020 Order Download Motion to dismiss denied. Federal Court Said States Had Standing to Challenge Endangered Species Act Regulations. The federal district court for the Northern District of California ruled that state plaintiffs had adequately alleged facts to invoke federal jurisdiction in their lawsuit challenging amendments of the Endangered Species Act regulations. The court found that the states had alleged injury-in-fact, causation, and redressability and that their claims were both constitutionally and prudentially ripe. The states’ challenges to the regulations include that the amendments violate the Endangered Species Act’s plain language and purpose, including by limiting designation of unoccupied critical habitat where climate change poses threats to habitat. 05/18/2020 Order Download Motions to intervene granted. 01/24/2020 Reply Download Reply filed by federal defendants in support of motion to dismiss. 01/07/2020 Opposition Download Opposition to federal defendants' motion to dismiss filed by state plaintiffs. 12/23/2019 Statement Download Statement of nonopposition to motions to intervene filed by state plaintiffs. 12/17/2019 Motion to Intervene Download Motion to intervene filed by Kenneth Klemm, Beaver Creek Buffalo Co., Washington Cattlemen’s Association, and Pacific Legal Foundation. 12/09/2019 Motion to Intervene Download Motion to intervene as defendants filed by 13 states. 12/06/2019 Motion to Dismiss Download Motion to dismiss filed by federal defendants. 10/22/2019 Complaint Download First amended complaint filed. 09/25/2019 Complaint Download Complaint filed. States Filed Lawsuit Challenging Trump Administration’s Changes to the Endangered Species Act Regulations. Seventeen states, the District of Columbia, and New York City filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the Northern District of California challenging amendments to the regulations implementing the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The plaintiffs asserted that the amendments violated the ESA’s plain language and purpose, as well as “its legislative history, numerous binding judicial precedents interpreting the ESA, and its precautionary approach to protecting imperiled species and critical habitat,” including by limiting designation of unoccupied critical habitat, “particularly where climate change poses a threat to species habitat.” The plaintiffs also contended that the defendants failed to provide reasoned analysis for the changes and overlooked important issues, including the need to address threats from climate change. The plaintiffs asserted claims under the ESA, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The plaintiffs indicated that their case was related to the previously filed Center for Biological Diversity v. Bernhardt.