American Stewards of Liberty v. Department of Interior, No. 19-50321 (5th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
Original petitioner filed suit under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), challenging FWS's negative 90-day finding regarding the delisting of the Bone Cave harvestman arachnid as arbitrary and capricious. While the case was pending, the district court allowed intervening plaintiffs to separately argue that federal regulation of the purely intrastate species is unconstitutional because it exceeds Congress's power under the Commerce and Necessary and Proper Clauses. The district court subsequently rejected the intervening plaintiffs' arguments, but granted summary judgment to the original plaintiffs. FWS's negative 90-day finding was vacated and the FWS then issued a positive 90-day finding, beginning a 12-month review of whether the Bone Cave harvestman should be delisted.
The Fifth Circuit dismissed the intervenor plaintiffs' appeal of the denial of their motion for summary judgment, holding that the appeal is alternatively moot or barred by sovereign immunity. Therefore, the court lacked jurisdiction to resolve the appeal.