Weyerhaeuser Company v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (U.S. Supreme Court)
The Endangered Species Act allows the US Fish & Wildlife Service to designate the “critical habitat” of endangered species. In this case, USFWS designated our client’s land as critical habitat of the dusky gopher frog, a designation that reduced the land value by more than $30 million, even though the frog does not live on that land and cannot live on that land absent radical land use changes. The Fifth Circuit panel divided 2-1 in upholding the designation, and the Fifth Circuit denied rehearing en banc by a vote of 6-8. With the support of 13 amicus briefs, including a brief by 18 States, we successfully persuaded the US Supreme Court to review the panel’s misinterpretation of the Endangered Species Act. The case will be argued during the Court’s October 2018 term.