Current SCI Hunting Litigation
SCI is currently involved or has recently been involved in the following cases:
Elephant Importation Ban Challenge (SCI v. Jewell et al.) – Challenge to the FWS’s decision to suspend the importation of sport hunted elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Tanzania in 2014. Status: SCI filed suit in April 2014, within weeks of the announcement of the bans and shortly thereafter filed a motion for a preliminary injunction. The District Court denied SCI’s motion for a preliminary injunction (PI) and SCI immediately appealed that ruling. To avoid delays in the progress of our case in the District Court, SCI voluntarily dismissed the appeal and is pursuing the underlying challenge to the bans in their entirety. In late November, SCI presented oral argument to defend its case against motions to dismiss filed by the FWS. We are currently awaiting a ruling.
California’s Ban on Importation of Mountain Lion Trophies (SCI v. Harris) – Challenge to the constitutionality of a California law that bans individuals from possessing or importing trophies of mountain lions hunted outside of California. SCI claims that the California law violates the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce and Equal Protection Clauses. Status: SCI filed suit on August 6, 2014. State responded with a motion to dismiss. Hearing is scheduled for February 2, 2015.
Wyoming Wolf Delisting Challenges (Defenders of Wildlife v. Jewell; HSUS v. U.S. FWS) – Defense of delisting and hunting of Wyoming portion of the NRM wolf population in D.C. and Wyoming federal courts. SCI is a defendant-intervenor. Status: D.C. Court District court invalidated the rule and returned Wyoming wolves to endangered status. Wyoming adopted emergency regulations that addressed the court’s one main issue of concern. The Court rejected motions from Wyoming, the FWS and SCI/NRA/RMEF requesting that she amend her ruling and allow the wolves to remain delisted and under management by Wyoming. In early December 2014, the FWS filed a Notice of Appeal with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, prompting all parties to do the same.
Western Great Lakes Wolf Delisting Challenge (HSUS v. Jewell) – Defense of delisting and hunting of WGL wolf population. Status: SCI, NRA, USSAF and several other organizations intervened. After the parties completed the briefing, the D.C. District Court requested additional briefing on whether she should order the parties to file briefs on the appropriate remedy in the event that she finds some inadequacy or error in the delisting rule. Briefing has been completed and we are awaiting a ruling.
New Mexico Wolves (WildEarth Guardians v. Lane) – Defense of New Mexico officials’ authorization of trapping in Mexican wolf experimental population area. Status: 10th Circuit dismissed for lack of standing. New Mexico is seeking attorneys’ fees from plaintiffs. WEG apparently plans to refile their lawsuit in the future.
Coyote Hunting In Red Wolf Area in North Carolina (Red Wolf Coalition v. NCWRC) – Hunting in Defense of coyote hunting in recovery zone of nonessential experimental population of red wolves in NC. Status: SCI participated as amicus and opposed plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction to stop coyote hunting in the area. The judge granted the injunction. Coyote hunting is currently not allowed in the red wolf recovery area. The plaintiffs and the state have reached an agreement that will lift the ban on coyote hunting but will require North Carolina to initiate rulemaking to establish several conditions designed to protect red wolves. At a hearing on November 12, 2014 the District Court approved the agreement. Separately, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing whether it should change or abandon its red wolf reintroduction project.
McKittrick Policy (WildEarth Guardians v. DOJ) – Defense of DOJ policy to not pursue criminal prosecution of individuals who accidentally shoot members of federally protected species. Status: DOJ filed a motion to dismiss based on jurisdictional grounds. Briefing on that motion is finished. We are awaiting a ruling. If the Court does not dismiss, SCI will likely move to intervene in the case.
Three Antelope Cases – (FoA v. Jewell et al.) – In the 2014 Appropriations Law, Congress directed the FWS to reissue a 2005 permit exemption rule regarding hunting of three antelope species on ranches in the United States. After the FWS reissued the rule, FoA filed suit to challenge the constitutionality of Congress’s action and the rule. Status: SCI has intervened and filed its first summary judgment brief in support of the law on September 30, 2014. Briefing is complete and we are awaiting the scheduling of oral argument or a ruling from the District Court. (SCI v. Jewell et al.) – SCI challenged the FWS’s classification of U.S. captive populations as endangered. Status: Court upheld the legality of the listing. SCI appealed the ruling to the D.C. Circuit Court. Appeal has been stayed on SCI’s request, pending the outcome of the constitutional challenge. (FoA v. Ashe et al.) – Friends of Animals challenged permit process for culling members of captive herds of the three antelope. Status: SCI intervened and supported FWS’s motion to dismiss the case. Briefing has been stayed, also pending the constitutional challenge.
Big Cypress ORV/Wilderness Plan (NPCA et al. v. DOI et al.) - Defense of National Preserve (Addition Lands) Management Plan facilitating hunting and ORV use. Status: SCI intervened in case to defend plan. After extensive briefing and an all-day hearing, the Florida federal district court ruled in the NPS and SCI’s favor and upheld the plan. One of the Plaintiff groups, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) moved for reconsideration of the judge’s ruling. Briefing has been completed on that motion and we are awaiting a ruling. In addition, one of the plaintiff groups also appealed the case to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The parties are asking the appeals court to stay briefing until the motion for reconsideration is decided.
Lead Ammunition Case (CBD v. EPA) – Defense of EPA’s denial of second petition seeking to ban lead in ammunition. Status: EPA and SCI//NRA filed motions to dismiss the case. District Court dismissed after oral argument. CBD appealed. Oral argument was held on October 24th. We are awaiting a ruling.
Lead Ammunition in Kaibab National Forest (CBD v. U.S. Forest Service) – Defense against attempt to ban lead ammunition use in Kaibab National Forest. Status: District Court granted a motion to dismiss filed by the federal government. CBD appealed decision to Ninth Circuit. SCI is participating as an amicus in the appeal. Appellate briefing is complete. We are currently awaiting a ruling or the scheduling of oral argument.
Grand Teton National Park Elk Hunting (Mayo v. Jarvis) – Two photographers challenged the elk management program administered on Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. This is the only Congressional authorized hunting program on a National Park. Status: Safari Club has moved to intervene to help the National Park Service and the State of Wyoming defend the program. Plaintiffs oppose our intervention, so we are completing our briefing in support of our participation and will await the Court’s ruling.
Elephant Importation Ban Freedom of Information Act Request (SCI v. FWS) – SCI sued to challenge the FWS’s failure to meet its statutory obligation to respond to SCI’s request for documents pertaining to the July 2014 decision to ban the importation of elephants from Zimbabwe. Status: As soon as SCI filed suit, the FWS responded by providing a portion of the documents. SCI will proceed with the suit until all documents have been provided.
- SCI "In The Crosshairs"