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Babbitt v. Sweet Home Chapter of Communities for a Great Oregon
United States Supreme Court
515 U.S. 687 (1995)
Sweet Home Chapter of Communities for a Great Oregon, an entity representing the interests of families dependent upon the forest products industry, small landowners, logging companies, and others (plaintiffs) filed suit in federal district court against Bruce Babbitt, in his official capacity as Secretary of the Interior, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and others (defendants) challenging the meaning of the term “harm” as defined in regulations promulgated pursuant to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Specifically, plaintiffs alleged the application of the “harm” regulation to the red-cockaded woodpecker, an endangered species, and the northern spotted owl, a threatened species, had injured plaintiffs economically because they could not conduct logging activities where the animals were located. The district court granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment and held the Secretary possessed the authority to define “harm” as he wished. The court of appeals reversed. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)
Concurrence (O'Connor, J.)
Dissent (Scalia, J.)
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