9th Circ. Upholds Smelt Protection Under ESA

Law360, New York (March 28, 2011, 7:09 PM EDT) -- The Ninth Circuit on Friday upheld the legality of Endangered Species Act protection for the California delta smelt fish, rejecting an appeal by nut farmers who said that the protections violated the Constitution's commerce clause.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit's opinion said that the commerce clause allowed ESA protection of the fish, because the act "bears a substantial relation to commerce" despite the farmers' arguments that the fish exists only in California and has no commercial value.

The three nut farms, Stewart...
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