Supreme Court limits government’s attempt steal land for endangered species


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The Supreme Court today ruled against the federal government’s attempt to designate private land as a habitat for an endangered species, even though that endangered species doesn’t even inhabit that land.

In a unanimous ruling the justices rejected the federal government’s attempt to designate roughly 1,500 acres in Louisiana as critical space for the dusky gopher frog. “Only the ‘habitat’ of the endangered species is eligible for designation as critical habitat,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote in the opinion.

The frog hasn’t lived on the land in five decades, having shifted to neighboring counties. But the government, fearing future events might push the frog back, sought to designate the land, which would have imposed severe restrictions on what the owners could do with it.

Consider the chutzpah of the federal government in attempting to do this. If the court had ruled in their favor, it would have allowed them to designate any piece of property anywhere in the country as a habitat for any species, and thus negate all property rights, forever.

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3 comments

  • ” . . . fearing future events might push the frog back, . . ”

    Yes, harkening to a time when legions of dusky gopher frogs darkened the land. Why not set aside the entire Midwest for bison?

  • Nicholas Paizis

    The fact that the decision was unanimous just shows how far out of line this land grab attempt was.

  • ted

    “The justices, after rejecting the Interior Department’s arguments, sent the case back to the lower court to take a fresh look at the cost and benefits of the government’s designation of the land.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Trump DOI was still fighting this AND at least one lower court sided with the land-grabbing DOI. Zinke needs a full & frank discussion with some of his people concerning private property and McConnell needs to put the judge approval conveyor into high gear.

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