Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Senate Bill Threatens Wolves, ESA, and Central Pillar of American Democracy

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Last month the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted to advance the “HELP for Wildlife Act” (S.1514), a misleadingly-titled bill that contains a damaging anti-wolf amendment we’re calling the “War on Wolves” Rider.

The toxic legislation proposes to permanently remove federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Wyoming, to allow trophy hunting of wolves to immediately resume within these states. To add insult to injury, the bill prohibits its judicial review thus preventing any legal challenge.

Bigger Implications Beyond Wolves

Restrictive judicial review language in War on Wolves rider is part of an alarming set of legislative proposals to restrict and erode the ability of everyday people to have their issue heard in a court of law and stand up to even the wealthiest corporate interests.

S.1514 is just one among a number of environmental bills that include “no judicial review” language.

In fact, “no judicial review” language is already included in 28 House and Senate bills introduced by this Congress (at least 13 of the 28 bills involve environmental issues) that if passed, would undermine the ability of Americans to seek out justice and defend the environment, our lands, our public health, and our civil rights.

Not all politicians are on board; some members of Congress think this trend is bad news.

"Not only is it heavy-handed, but we have three branches of government, and the courts act as an arbiter," Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said in an interview. "The legal challenge to something is important."

Judicial review is an important part of the checks and balances to limit the authority of the legislative branch. Wolves are on the table today. What tomorrow?

Would your Senator support a bill that undermines one of the central pillars of American democracy?

Please urge your to oppose S. 1514. Take action here.

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