Turtle Island Restoration Network, et al. v. U.S. Dept. of State, No. 10-17059 (9th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
TIRN appealed from the district court's dismissal of its claim on res judicata grounds. TIRN alleged that the State Department failed to satisfy its consultation and environmental assessment obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., in conducting annual certifications of countries exempted from the general ban on shrimp imports. At issue was whether TIRN's current lawsuit for NEPA and ESA violations was precluded by its earlier lawsuits challenging the State Department's regulations implementing the Section 609(b)(2) of Public Law 101-162 certification process. The court held that because TIRN's current challenge arose from the same transactional nucleus of facts as earlier litigation, res judicata barred its claims. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court.