Circuit court declares Northern Rockies wolf-hunting case moot

2012-11-09T11:04:00Z 2012-11-09T23:53:53Z Circuit court declares Northern Rockies wolf-hunting case mootBy ROB CHANEY Missoulian The Billings Gazette
November 09, 2012 11:04 am  • 

MISSOULA - A part of the legal fight over hunting wolves in the Northern Rockies officially disappeared from the record when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared the case moot this week.

In 2010, federal District Court Judge Donald Molloy ruled that gray wolves were improperly stripped of Endangered Species Act protection in Montana and Idaho.

Later that year, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., got an amendment through Congress declaring wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains a recovered species under the ESA and blocking any further legal review.

Molloy, in a separate decision, agreed that Congress had the power to shield the issue from court review even though he thought such power was unconstitutional. Montana and Idaho resumed public wolf hunts in 2011.

On Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit granted a motion by the states of Montana and Idaho along with several private hunting and livestock organizations that declared Molloy's wolf ruling "dismissed, vacated and remanded." They ordered Molloy to consider the underlying case as moot.

"The bottom line is environmental groups cannot refer to the Molloy ruling as precedent since the 9th Circuit Court vacated it and wolves in Idaho and Montana remain under state management," Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation spokesman Mark Holyoak said in an email on Thursday.

Copyright 2015 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) Comments

  1. Furhat
    Report Abuse
    Furhat - November 11, 2012 7:23 am
    BSN, basically you are wrong. The 9th circuit did not rule that "...what malloy (sic) staid (sic) was wrong and bias (sic)". His ruling may have been completely correct, but an intervening change in the law made his ruling moot. This is far different from your conclusion, which is based on no facts in the actual article.
  2. Cowboy Fred
    Report Abuse
    Cowboy Fred - November 10, 2012 9:46 am
    Molloy is nothing more than a radical environmental shill. I'm glad he finally got put in his place, along with a few of the wolf hugging groups.
  3. Demiurge
    Report Abuse
    Demiurge - November 09, 2012 4:47 pm
    Yawn.
  4. MrMontana
    Report Abuse
    MrMontana - November 09, 2012 3:10 pm
    Thank goodness Molloy has finally been harnessed on the wolf issue, good grief!
  5. bigskynative
    Report Abuse
    bigskynative - November 09, 2012 2:56 pm
    Basically, without the lgeal humbojumbo, what malloy staid was wrong and bias. Simple as that. I went to a talk that Mr. Malloy gave and he stated that the wolf issue had nothing to do with wolves, but with law itself. I auume he meant that the feds and the state did not have enough rules or studies done to determine if wolves could be controlled without making them endangered again. Now I wonder if it had more to do with Mr. Malloys personel views or perhaps other options that occured for him during the wolf debicle? Definitely makes you wonder. Regardless, he will always be known as the man who tried to destory montana with wolves.

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