AUSTIN – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court opens its new term and will hear oral arguments in Weyerhaeuser Co. v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a case involving the Endangered Species Act and the powers of federal agencies to make decisions without allowing those affected to seek judicial review.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation filed an amicus brief in this case.

“In Weyerhaeuser, the Fish and Wildlife Service determined that private property in Louisiana should be regulated as critical habitat for an endangered species known as the dusky gopher frog even though no dusky gopher frogs inhabit the property – and haven’t for decades,” says Ted Hadzi-Antich, senior attorney in the Foundation’s Center for the American Future. “The land isn’t a habitat for the frog, nor does it meet all of the criteria for a habitat. That didn’t stop the Service from making its determination, thus devaluing the land at the expense of the landowner. Taking regulatory hubris one step further, the Service determined that the critical habitat designation is not reviewable by any court.”

As the amicus brief noted, “When James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights in Congress, he noted the importance of judicial review as a fundamental check on the other branches. According to Madison, ‘independent tribunals of justice’ are to be ‘an impenetrable bulwark against every assumption of power in the legislative or executive; they will be naturally led to resist every encroachment upon rights.’”

For more information, please contact Sarah Silberstein at or 512-472-2700.    

Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit free-market research institute based in Austin that aims to foster human flourishing by protecting and promoting liberty, opportunity, and personal responsibility.

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