Metcalf v. Daley
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
214 F.3d 1135 (2000)
The Makah Indian Tribe (Makah) (defendant) had a tradition of hunting California gray whales that migrated annually through a federal marine sanctuary. The Makah ceased whaling in the 1920s, as commercial whaling had nearly extinguished the gray-whale population. In 1946, the United States signed a treaty that regulated whaling through the International Whaling Commission (IWC). The IWC banned the taking or killing of gray whales. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (defendant) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (defendant) were responsible for implementing the treaty obligations. By 1993, the gray-whale population had recovered, and the Makah decided to resume hunting gray whales. The Makah asked NOAA and NMFS to request the IWC’s approval for an annual quota of up to five whales. NMFS represented the Makah at IWC meetings in 1995 and 1996, and also entered into a written agreement with the Makah in 1996 to make a formal quota proposal to the IWC and to participate in whaling management. In August 1997, NOAA prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA) on the proposed whaling, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). On October 13, 1997, NOAA and the Makah signed a new whaling agreement. On October 17, 1997, NOAA issued a final EA and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). NOAA authorized the Makah’s whaling in 1998. Jack Metcalf and others (plaintiffs) sued the Makah and the heads of NOAA and NMFS (defendants) in district court, claiming that the federal government had violated NEPA by preparing the EA only after signing two agreements with the Makah. The district court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, and the plaintiffs appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Trott, J.)
Dissent (Kleinfeld, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 724,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 724,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,600 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.