U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

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Tenth Circuit holds that ESA regulation of Utah prairie dog is allowed under the Commerce Clause

March 29, 2017

The Tenth Circuit reversed the district court and held that Congress has authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate the Utah prairie dog.

U.S. Chamber urges Tenth Circuit to save Utah prairie dog from ESA regulation

May 26, 2015

The U.S. Chamber filed an amicus brief asking the Tenth Circuit to affirm a district court’s ruling that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (“FWS”) attempt to regulate under the Endangered Species Act an animal that lives wholly within one State exceeds its Commerce Clause authority.

The animal species at issue here is the Utah prairie dog, which lives exclusively within Utah. Because there was no evidence that this prairie dog is an interstate commodity, or that any other species relies on the prairie dog for survival, FWS lacks authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate takes of the Utah prairie dog on private land.

The U.S. Chamber filed this brief jointly with the National Federation of Independent Business.

William S. Consovoy and J. Michael Connolly of Consovoy McCarthy PLLC served as counsel for the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center in this case.

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