Sunday, August 5, 2007

The spotted owl returns, on the run

Over a decade after a mostly conservative US Supreme Court defied the first Bush Administration and acted to save the spotted owl (the votes of Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O'Connor made the difference), the endangered species faces a new threat -- a predator called the barred owl, forcing the spotted to find new habitats. Guess what the current Bush and the forest industry wanted to do? Yup? Cut down the trees where the spotted used to live. Fortunately, a federal judge said they can't do that -- and the issue isn't the owl, but the forest. Off limits means exactly that.

This op-ed piece in the NYT gave me a chuckle -- and a bit of hope that despite Dubya's machinations, there still may be enough tree huggers in the courts to stop the madness that he believes in. After all, the new Chief Justice, John Roberts, says he defers to stare decisis.

At least, that's what we were led to believe.

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