U.S. Senate Committee on
Environment and Public Works



Boxer: Supreme Court Decision Undermines
Endangered Species Act




Washington, DC U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, made the following remarks in reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision today regarding the Endangered Species Act:



Senator Boxer said: I am disappointed with today’s Supreme Court decision, which could undermine protections for endangered and threatened species. The narrow 5-4 majority of the Court has misread the Endangered Species Act, failed to grasp the intent of Congress, and ignored the will of the American people by cutting back on protections for our imperiled species. If the Bush Administration now tries to use this decision to justify sweeping cutbacks in endangered species protections, which I believe is not warranted by the court’s ruling, this could weaken efforts to ensure future generations experience the awesome diversity of life that our grandparents gave to us. My Committee will carefully review this decision and how the Administration carries it out.”






In a 5-4 decision today, the Supreme Court cut back on the duty of federal agencies to ensure that their actions protect imperiled species under the Endangered Species Act. The court reduced the types of cases in which government officials must consult with experts on the endangered species (such as wildlife scientists with the Fish and Wildlife Service), before making decisions that could harm these species. This could substantially reduce the protections for imperiled species, by allowing government agencies to rush ahead with decisions that could harm these species without consulting with experts on how those actions could hurt them.



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