Here are the briefs submitted to the court by Alliance for the Wild Rockies, in support of their lawsuit, challenging the wolf delisting rider. If successful, it would find the rider, that was attached to a must pass budget bill, unconstitutional, which I believe it to be.
What the Senate did was egregious. They allowed gray wolves to be thrown under the bus by voting for the budget bill, hoping to please Senator Jon Tester, who is running a tight race against Denny Rehberg, for his Senate seat in 2012. In essence Rehberg and Tester are trying to out-wolf each other and capture the anti-wolf vote. They’re both running on the issue.
The Senate could easily have stripped the rider out of the budget bill or allowed an up or down vote on the rider, as they did for the other two riders included in the budget bill, Planned Parenthood and Obamacare. Senators voted up or down on both those riders and both were defeated but they left the wolf delisting rider in place, which allowed them to vote on the budget bill with the rider still attached.
I think it was sneaky and underhanded. In my opinion, the Senators didn’t want to “go on the record” and vote for the wolf delisting rider outright, so they tucked it away in the budget bill. The ESA was used and abused for political gain. For the first time, a species like the wolf, who has a long history of persecution and ultimately extermination in the West, was stripped of their ESA protections. If any species deserves ESA protection, it’s the gray wolf.
Only three Democrats voted against the budget bill: e.g., Leahy , Levin and Wyden. Bernie Sanders, (I-VT) voted against it as well. President Obama then signed the bill into law with the rider attached and lo and behold, wolves were stripped of their ESA protections by budget rider. That’s the whole sad, disgusting story. The day the Democrats sold out wolves for Jon Tester’s Senate seat. I think he’ll be defeated because he is never going to out-do Rehberg on wolves. The entire exercise of delisting wolves was for nothing.
•Brief, May 31, 2011
•Statement of Undisputed Facts, May 31, 2011
•Reply June 21, 2011
Links to the briefs can also be found on Alliance for the Wild Rockies website.
Please visit AWR and give generously in support of this very important wolf litigation.
Just to remind everyone what this lawsuit it all about I included an opinion piece, which appeared in the Christian Science Monitor in April 2011, which succinctly details the delisting of the Northern Rockies gray wolf via budget rider. It explains why this action by Congress was so egregious and wrong.
The Senate’s reckless disregard for the ESA and the political delisting of wolves, prompted the mounting of a legal challenge by Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians, to seek to right the wrong done to wolves by the 112th Congress and the President.
Opinion Christian Science Monitor
True cost of budget deal will be paid in blood – of gray wolves
One of the most unfortunate riders of the recent budget deal is the decision to strip the gray wolf of the protections of the Endangered Species Act. Science has been subordinated to political instrumentalism, setting a dangerous precedent for the future.
By David N. Cassuto / April 19, 2011
Many words have been spent on the budget compromise struck between Republicans and Democrats in the 11th hour a couple weeks ago, narrowly avoiding a government shutdown. In the days since, details of this budget agreement have slowly emerged, but few actually know what it fully entails – and what it really means for Americans. Perhaps this is because Congress and the president appear to have had a similarly limited understanding of the nature and scope of the cuts they agreed upon.
Nevertheless, President Obama and members of Congress did know that they agreed on a few things having nothing whatsoever to do with the budget, budget cuts, or with federal spending at all. One of the most unfortunate of these “budget” agreement riders is the decision to strip the gray wolf of the protections of the Endangered Species Act. In the 37-year history of the Act, no species has ever been delisted for purely political reasons. Prior to last week, science guided such decisions. Now, science will be subordinated to political instrumentalism, setting a dangerous precedent for the future.
Photo: All About Wolves
Posted in: Wolf Wars
Tags: Wolf delisting lawsuit, Judge Molloy, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians, Jon Tester, Denny Rehberg, gray wolves, ESA, budget bill