AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation on Friday afternoon filed a motion for summary judgment in the pending lawsuit seeking to delist the Bone Cave Harvestman from the Endangered Species Act. TPPF’s Center for the American Future represents Williamson County resident John Yearwood and Williamson County, Texas in the lawsuit, which challenges the authority of the federal government to use the Interstate Commerce Clause to regulate non-commercial interactions with the Bone Cave Harvestman arachnid, which only exists in two central Texas counties, is not bought nor traded in interstate commerce, and does not otherwise affect interstate commerce.
“This case is about whether or not the text of the Constitution places any meaningful limit on federal authority,” said Chance Weldon, attorney with the Center for the American Future at TPPF. “The Constitution provides Congress with authority to limit interstate commerce. If Mr. Yearwood stepping on a bug in his backyard can be deemed a criminal interference with interstate commerce, then anything could be.”
“Camping isn’t commerce. This case leads the Court to determine that the Endangered Species Act has limits,” said Robert Henneke, general counsel and director of the Center for the American Future at TPPF. “A successful ruling from the Court on this dispositive motion will greatly strengthen private property rights in Texas.”
“We all believe that protecting plants and animals is important, but in this case, there is no need for the Federal Government to be involved,” said co-counsel Chad Ennis. “Texas and Travis and Williamson County can and do provide enough protection for the Bone Cave Harvestman. Given that the Supreme Court has moved in our direction, we think that we will prevail in removing the Federal Government from this local issue.”
The filed motion available here.
For more information or to request an interview with Mr. Henneke or Mr. Weldon, please contact Alicia Pierce at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-472-2700.
Chance Weldon is an attorney with the Center for the American Future at Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Honorable Robert Henneke is general counsel and director of the Center for the American Future at Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit free-market research institute based in Austin. The Texas Public Policy Foundation aims to advance a societal framework that effectively fosters human flourishing based upon cooperation and mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and speech.