Trade Court Transfers Endangered Species Case

     (CN) – The Court of International Trade transferred a narrow Endangered Species Act claim to a federal judge in Washington, saying the claim did not fall exclusively under the trade court’s jurisdiction.

     The Salmon Spawning & Recovery Alliance and two other fish-related groups accused the government of allowing endangered salmon and steelhead to be imported into the United States in violation of the Act.
     The Federal Circuit asked the trade court to determine whether a claim made under Section 7(a)(2) of the Act falls exclusively under the trade court’s jurisdiction. This section requires that every federal agency “in consultation with and with the assistance of the Secretary,” must “insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out by such agency … is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of habitat of such species which is determined by the Secretary” to be critical.
     Judge Barzilay of Court of International Trade ruled that it the trade court does not have exclusive jurisdiction and transferred the case to where it was originally filed, the Western District of Washington.

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