FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2018
For More Information, contact:
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Alabama Attorney General
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Page 1 of 1
AG STEVE MARSHALL HAILS U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION TO HEAR LAWSUIT,
SUPPORTED BY ALABAMA, CHALLENGING EXPANSION OF CRITICAL HABITAT
DEFINITION TO INCLUDE AREAS UNOCCUPIED BY ENDANGERED SPECIES
Alabama Filed Amicus Brief on August 14, 2017, Calling on Supreme Court to Hear Case
(MONTGOMERY) – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall welcomed today a decision by
the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, Weyerhauser v. US Fish and Wildlife, concerning federal
efforts to impose an overly broad definition of critical habitat for endangered species to include
areas where the species do not and cannot live.
“In 2016, the Obama administration issued rules vastly expanding the definition of a critical
habitat for an endangered species,” said Attorney General Marshall. “The intent was
undoubtedly to enhance the power of federal bureaucrats to confiscate land at the expense of
After the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld and even expanded the ability of the
federal government to redefine critical habitat areas, Attorney General Marshall led a coalition
of attorneys general in August 2017, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a legal challenge to
the new definition.
“There is no limit to the threat this kind of bureaucratic land grab could pose to Alabama’s
agriculture, timber and mining industries and even home owners,” added Attorney General
Marshall. “Protecting endangered species can be done without endangering private property. I
am pleased the U.S. Supreme Court will take up this important case.”
Joining Alabama in filing the amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court were the states of
Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, North
Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
In a related case, in November 2016, Alabama and 19 other states also sued the National Marine
Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Secretaries of the Interior and
Commerce, to challenge the critical habitat rules. The Obama administration filed a motion to
dismiss this lawsuit in January 2017.
A copy of the 17-page filing from August 14, 2017, is linked here.
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