Political Editors / November 28, 2018

The Justices and the Frog

The Supreme Court struck down an Obama land grab for the dusky gopher frog.

The Supreme Court issued a win for property rights and regulatory sanity this week, and it was an 8-0 decision to boot. In October, we noted the background in the peculiar case of the dusky gopher frog.

The frog was designated by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) as an endangered species back in 2001. Then, in 2011, the Obama administration decided to designate as protected habitat over 1,500 acres of Louisiana land leased by the lumber company Weyerhaeuser, the plaintiff in the case. However, there was one glaring problem that even the FWS noted — there were no dusky gopher frogs living on this particular land, nor could the frog live there because of actual habitat considerations. Nevertheless, the Obama administration listed the property as a “potential backup habitat” for the endangered frog, even despite the FWS estimate that the now unusable land would cost Weyerhaeuser $34 million.

We worried that, without Brett Kavanaugh on the bench for oral arguments, this case might end up 4-4. We’re pleased to see that, instead, the justices ruled 8-0 to overturn a mindless decision by the Fifth Circuit Court upholding Obama’s obnoxious power/land grab. Meanwhile, for some inexplicable reason, Donald Trump’s Justice Department was on autopilot and still defending Obama’s position. Maybe that’s why the four leftist justices joined the ruling…

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