Re: NANFA-- Bush and the ESA

Christopher Scharpf (
Mon, 16 Apr 2001 17:49:38 -0400

>What do you all think about the possibility of allowing citizens
>to sue the federal government for a lack of military involvement
>in third-world crisis situations. (ie, not protecting people,
>instead of fish.) How about the possibility of suing the federal
>government for taking too much of my income in the form of taxes?
>(ie, taking from me and giving it to a fish I don't necessarily
>care for.)


FWIW, the basis for sueing the federal gov't (specifically, the Depts. of
Interior or Commerce) over endangered species listings (or lack thereof) rests
on the perceived violation of law as defined in the formal language of the
Endangered Species Act. That law legally requires listing and protection for
endangered taxa. When protection is withheld or overlooked, i.e., when the gov't
"breaks" or fails to adhere to its own law, the citizenry has a clear right to
file suit in order to force adherence to the law. Your hypothetical scenarios do
not not apply (as far as I can tell) since no law is being "broken" or bent or

The Bush administration proposal will effectively remove the private citizen's
right to sue the gov't to abide by its own law.

Chris Scharpf

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