Enforcing Legislation That Protects Wildlife Near the Mexican Border
Defenders of Wildlife v Elaine Duke
The Animal Legal Defense Fund joined litigation brought by a coalition of wildlife protection groups against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security arguing the agency’s attempt to waive environmental protection laws.
Appeal fully briefed
In January 2017, the federal government announced that it would replace the San Diego border wall with a staggering 30-foot wall — potentially made of impermeable concrete — as well as building multiple sections of new prototype walls near the Otay Mesa border crossing. These projects were to be the first of the government’s recently funded border wall construction.
In an effort to evade compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security invoked the waiver components of a 2005 immigration law known as the Real ID Act with regard to the San Diego wall construction as well as an area of wall near Calexico, California.
The agency asserts that this law provides it a waiver for compliance with numerous laws enacted to protect both our environment and endangered species, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Migratory Bird Conservation Act.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund joined federal litigation brought by a coalition of wildlife protection groups — including Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club, and the Center for Biological Diversity — against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The lawsuit argued that the agency’s attempt to waive the laws is illegal — and it is overreaching with its interpretation of the Real ID Act.
In February 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California denied our motion for summary judgment and granted the defendants‘ motion for summary judgment.
We filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. As of June 2018, the case remains on appeal.
Lawsuit alleges the government has unlawfully weakened protections for threatened and endangered speciesOctober 22, 2019 Press Release
The Edge of Extinction: Hundreds of Vulnerable Animal Species in Danger under Endangered Species Act RollbacksThe government announced distressing changes to the Endangered Species Act – weakening one of our nation’s most important animal protection laws. The ESA has prevented the extinction of numerous including the northern gray wolf and the Florida manatee.August 21, 2019 News
Today the California Ecosystems Protection Act, passed out of the California Assembly. Authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom and sponsored by ALDF and a coalition of wildlife protection groups, the bill bans second generation anticoagulant rodenticides.May 6, 2019 Press Release
Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Bernhardt
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Center for Biological Diversity v Donald Trump