Circuit court declares Northern Rockies wolf-hunting case moot

2012-11-09T06:45:00Z 2012-11-09T07:16:26Z Circuit court declares Northern Rockies wolf-hunting case mootBy ROB CHANEY of the Missoulian
November 09, 2012 6:45 am  • 

A part of the legal fight over hunting wolves in the Northern Rockies officially disappeared from the record when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared the case moot on Wednesday.

In 2010, federal District Court Judge Donald Molloy ruled that gray wolves were improperly stripped of Endangered Species Act protection in Montana and Idaho. Later that year, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., got an amendment through Congress declaring wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains a recovered species under the ESA and blocking any further legal review.

Molloy, in a separate decision, agreed Congress had the power to shield the issue from court review even though he thought such power was unconstitutional. Montana and Idaho resumed public wolf hunts in 2011.

On Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit granted a motion by the states of Montana and Idaho along with several private hunting and livestock organizations that declared Molloy's wolf ruling "dismissed, vacated and remanded." They ordered Molloy to consider the underlying case as moot.

"The bottom line is environmental groups cannot refer to the Molloy ruling as precedent since the 9th Circuit Court vacated it and wolves in Idaho and Montana remain under state management," Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation spokesman Mark Holyoak said in an email on Thursday.

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(10) Comments

  1. Iceman9
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    Iceman9 - November 13, 2012 9:39 pm
    Obviously you've been hit over the head a lot yourself, Bruce Hemming! It's amazing you still have a nervous system!
  2. reality22f
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    reality22f - November 13, 2012 4:07 am
    dave ahou...... loved your comment. You hit the nail on the head!
  3. Iceman9
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    Iceman9 - November 10, 2012 2:46 pm
    He's not an activist, RPT. He's by-the-book. And he hasn't always sided with environmentalists. There was one case involving logging that he presided over, and he ruled against the environmental groups.
    What Tester did with that rider was uncalled for. He, Mike Simpson, and Max Baucus deliberately defied a judicial ruling and then shielded it from further review. That last part violates our First Amendment rights to challenge a government ruling in court. Face it, the only way they can win is to cheat. They won't get away with this. Tester, Simpson, and Baucus should be removed from their seats in Congress and charged with treason. Next stop: The Slammer! For LIFE!! And not just those three. Everyone who wanted the delisting should be punished like so.
  4. Roger
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    Roger - November 10, 2012 8:05 am
    Just a mindless attack by a moron.
  5. Kahlotus
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    Kahlotus - November 09, 2012 4:34 pm
    Mikeo - you hit the nail on the head with that one.
  6. dave ajou
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    dave ajou - November 09, 2012 11:19 am
    No, the wolves are symptomatic of many of the problems faced by the state. Idiots that wish to impose their ideals, by litigating everything under the sun to force their version of what this state, and much of the American west, should look like. Shut down logging, mining, ranching, manufacturing. Look for any and every opportunity to lock the land up and create a vast preserve, so that the really intelligent and thoughtful people like you can return to Dayton, or Cleveland or Trenton and rest easy knowing that your good work is done. So hit the road in your Prius, with your 6.00 latte, the trust fund from mom and dad, and a gigantically inflated sense of righteousness and smug superiority. Wolves are the symptom, you are the disease.If only we could litigate that into extinction.
  7. Matthew Koehler
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    Matthew Koehler - November 09, 2012 11:05 am
    Mr. Holyoak might not be entirely correct with his statement below.

    It was vacated as moot – which means "environmental groups" can still refer to it as precedent but just have to say it was vacated on other grounds (i.e. the Ninth did not tell Molloy he was wrong - just that Congress had mooted the issues involved). Also there is another case from AZ federal district court - Guardians v. Salazar (Gunnison Prairie Dog) - that says the exact same thing Molloy did....and it was never appealed.

    Details, details, details.....
  8. RPT
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    RPT - November 09, 2012 12:18 am
    Disgraceful that it had to come down to an act of congress to stop an out of control activist federal judge.
    And even then he had to be ordered by the 9th to take a public 'spanking' before he'd stop.
    re:..." declared Molloy's wolf ruling "dismissed, vacated and remanded." They ordered Molloy to consider the underlying case as moot."
    OUCH !!! ... Perhaps it's time for Molloy to take full retirement and just go away?

  9. mikeo
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    mikeo - November 08, 2012 10:07 pm
    Amen! These wolves are everywhere! I saw one driving down Front Street, listening to rap music! Lock up yer kids!

    Wolves are Montana's biggest problem, even though the state is 146,000 square miles and there are 500 wolves. That's an insane population density that threatens us all.

    Hopefully, killing all the wolves will fix all the poor decisions I made in life, such as buying a 15 mpg truck and driving 95 on the interstate with a deflating bank account, dropping out of high school, drinking too much, failing to improve myself through reading, failing to increases my self-awareness and empathy, and instead relegating my life to trucks, guns and happy hour.
  10. outdoormike
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    outdoormike - November 08, 2012 9:22 pm
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