Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Public Health Groups Ask The Supreme Court To Hear Tobacco Appeal

On behalf of six major public health organizations – Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, and National African American Tobacco Prevention Network – we have filed a Petition for Certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court in the long-running litigation brought by the Department of Justice over the cigarette companies’ violations of civil RICO.  In 2005, our clients were granted intervention to advocate for the most effective remedies to redress the companies’ misconduct.  Although in 2006 the trial court ruled that the companies engaged in a decades-long fraud concerning the health effects of smoking and the nature of nicotine, in May 2009 the D.C. Circuit concluded that the trial court has no authority under RICO to remedy this misconduct by requiring the companies to give up their unlawful profits, or fund programs to help addicted smokers quit smoking.  We, and the government, have asked the Supreme Court to accept the case to reverse this decision, and rule that the trial court has broad authority to impose appropriate remedies to address the effects of the tobacco companies’ fraud.  A copy of the Petition is here. 

Sierra Club et al Moves for Summary Judgment in Cypress Creek Town Center case

Plaintiffs Sierra Club, Gulf Restoration Network and Clean Water Action have completed summary judgment briefing challenging the construction of the Cypress Creek Town Center in Pasco County, Florida, asserting that the town center will degrade Cypress Creek, designated an Outstanding Florida Water, destroy occupied habitat for the federally listed Wood Stork and Eastern Indigo Snake, and sever a critical wildlife linkage traversing the site.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Opening Brief Filed In First Circuit Canada Lynx Appeal

Today, the Animal Welfare Institute and the Wildlife Alliance of Maine filed their opening brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.  The appeal challenges a lower court decision that found a substantive violation of the Endangered Species Act’s strict prohibition on “taking” members of listed species, but failed to craft any declaratory or injunctive relief to remedy the violation.  The lower court’s unprecedented result has sanctioned unlawful conduct by the defendant in the case, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, effectively giving the defendant a green light to run roughshod over the Act’s mandates.