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24.7.05

Interesting Roberts Clarification

Via the Commons Blog, I found this SCOTUS Blog post, which goes into more detail on Roberts' toad dissent. If SCOTUS Blog is right, environmentalists have less to worry about than they thought. It looks like the court upheld the Endangered Species Act protection on the grounds that the housing development that was going to kill the toads was interstate commerce -- a somewhat less stretched definition of "interstate commerce." Roberts said that whether the killer is interstate commerce is beside the point. What needs to be decided -- and he claimed to be open to the possibility -- is whether the species itself has an impact on interstate commerce. In other words, Roberts is asking that the case be argued on the very grounds that environmentalists want to use, the stretching of "interstate commerce" to cover things that have several-degrees-removed impacts on interstate commerce.

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