Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Obama-Era Elephant Trophy Ban Based on Flawed Process, Court Rules

The DC Circuit ruled Friday that the Obama administration failed to follow the right procedures when it banned importing elephant hunting trophies from Zimbabwe.

(CN) - The DC Circuit ruled Friday that the Obama administration failed to follow the right procedures when it banned importing elephant hunting trophies from Zimbabwe.

Writing for a unanimous three-judge panel, U.S. Circuit Judge  Harry Edwards said the Fish and Wildlife Service under President Obama should have engaged in an extensive process of rulemaking --- including seeking public comment -- before it determined that elephant trophies cannot be brought into the country.

“In this case, the 2014 and 2015 enhancement findings had all of the qualities of a legislative rule, so the Service was obligated to follow the [Administrative Procedure Act’s] notice-and-comment procedures before promulgating the findings,” Edwards wrote.

The Fish and Wildlife Service reversed the ban in November, a move roundly and loudly criticized by environmentalists and many lawmakers of both parties. In a bid to quell the controversy, President Donald Trump put the decision on hold and directed the agency to take another look at the issue.

No deadline has been set for a decision and the matter was not addressed before the president headed to Palm Beach, Florida, for Christmas.

While the DC Circuit's ruling focuses on the actions of a past administration, it could force the Trump administration to go through a similar rulemaking process to repeal the ban.

Categories / Environment, Government, International, Law, National, Politics

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.

Loading...