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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Roberts insensitive to amphibian rights

From The National Review we learn that the Sierra Club has uncovered a shocking new revelation about Judge John Roberts that may threaten his confirmation hopes -- the man hates toads. At least that's the word going around in environmental circles where groups claim that Roberts “strongly implied that Congress does not have the Constitutional authority to protect certain species under the Endangered Species Act”. This is in reference to a minority opinion Roberts issued in a case called Rancho Viejo v. Norton:

Rancho Viejo v. Norton really shouldn’t rate high in propaganda value for Roberts’s opponents. The 2003 case concerned a land developer, Rancho Viejo, whose plans to build residential housing near San Diego were thwarted because they threatened the habitat of the Southwestern Arroyo Toad, a species protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Contrary to the Sierra Club, Judge Roberts never said Congress had no power to “protect certain species.” Rather, because the Constitution permits Congress to regulate interstate commerce, Roberts questioned whether Congress has the authority to regulate a species of toad that lives only in California.

Hearing the phrase "regulate a species of toad" tells me that congress needs far more vacation time than it has.

Get the full commentary below:

Endangered Roberts?

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