Man Hing Ivory and Imports, Inc. v. Deukmejian

702 F.2d 760 (1983)

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Man Hing Ivory and Imports, Inc. v. Deukmejian

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
702 F.2d 760 (1983)

Facts

Under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (the convention), the African elephant was a listed and regulated species that could be exported and traded with a permit issued by the country of origin. The convention was implemented through the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which listed the African elephant as an endangered species. The secretary of the interior (the secretary), who was authorized under the ESA to adopt implementing regulations, permitted limited trade of African-elephant products if the country of origin was a party to the convention and that country issued an export permit for an elephant product in compliance with the convention. In contrast, a provision of the California Penal Code (the penal code) prohibited the importation of any part or product of an elephant into the state. Man Hing Ivory and Imports, Inc. (Man Hing) (plaintiff) was a wholesale importer of African-elephant-ivory products that had obtained an export permit from the country of origin and a federal permit to import the products into the United States. The federal permit contained a printed “form” disclaimer on its face requiring the importer to observe “all applicable foreign, state, and other federal law.” Man Hing sued the State of California (defendant) seeking a declaration that the penal-code provision was preempted by federal law. The district court found that the ESA preempted the penal code to the extent that the state purported to prohibit trade in elephant products by an authorized federal permittee. California appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fletcher, J.)

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