Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Oral Argument Scheduled for Ninth Circuit Appeals in the Delta Smelt Consolidated Cases

On July 10, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a notice of oral argument in the Consolidated Delta Smelt Cases appeals, Ninth Circuit Case Nos. 11-15871, 11-16617, 11-16621, 11-16623, 11-6624, 11-16660, 11-16662, and 11-17143.  The lead appeal is also referred to as San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, et al. v. Salazar, et al.  Hearing on the appeal will occur September 10, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. in the Lloyd D. George United States Courthouse in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The court will reveal the identity of panel members not earlier than the week before the case will be heard. 

The court will hear oral argument on appeals regarding two decisions from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California: 1) the district court’s December 14, 2010 Memorandum Decision re Cross Motions for Summary Judgment, and the related May 18, 2011 final judgment, which held that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (“FWS”) 2008 delta smelt biological opinion (“BiOp”) and Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (“RPA”) were arbitrary, capricious, and unlawful and remanded the BiOp and RPA to FWS; and 2) the district court’s August 31, 2011 decision that enjoined the federal government from implementing the so-called “Fall X2” measure, which, absent the injunction, would have restricted California’s water supply by hundreds of thousands of acre feet.

Briefing completed in the so-called “Merits Appeal” on May 25, 2012, while briefing completed in the so-called “X2 Appeal” on April 5, 2012.  An order granting the motion to consolidate the Merits Appeal and X2 Appeal, which were separately briefed, for oral argument, was filed on May 25, 2012.  

If you have any questions regarding this announcement, please contact Daniel J. O’Hanlon, Rebecca Akroyd, or Hanspeter Walter, or the KMTG attorney with whom you normally consult.

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