Cockfighting

A federal court in Louisiana dismissed Holy Fight Ministries’ suit challenging the state’s cockfighting ban. The group claimed cockfighting is an “essential part of their religious faith,” but the court ruled a “religious belief — no matter how sincerely held — does not act as an absolute shield against generally applicable laws.”

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Polar Bears

A federal court in Alaska refused to block ConocoPhillips from constructing roads and a gravel mine in the National Petroleum Reserve. Environmental groups claimed the construction would harm a critical polar bear habitat, but the Fish and Wildlife Service determined there was only a “minimal possibility” polar bears would be harmed over the 30-year project.

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Cockfighting

The First Circuit upheld a law that bans cockfighting matches in Puerto Rico in a dispute brought by a group of gamecock owners, breeders, private fighting enthusiasts and others who claimed the regulation violated their First Amendment and due process rights and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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‘Tiger King’ Takes Fight for Freedom to 10th Circuit

Imprisoned “Tiger King” docuseries star Joe Exotic told a 10th Circuit panel Wednesday he was excessively sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for trying to hire a hitman to kill rival Carole Baskin, hours after his push for a last-minute pardon by outgoing President Donald Trump failed.

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National Parks

The 10th Circuit upheld the National Park Service’s determination that a regulation, which generally prohibits the taking of wildlife in national parks, does not apply to park “inholdings.” The National Parks Conservation Association and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition lack standing to challenge the Service’s approval of the 2015 Elk Reduction Program in Grand Teton National Park.

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