An environmental group is launching a campaign to defend the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which has been a target for President Trump. The court hears some of the most important environmental and other cases in our region.
Of the 29 judicial positions on the 9th Circuit right now, there are five open spots awaiting nominees from the President.
President Trump has made it clear how he feels about the 9th Circuit.
“Well you go to the 9th Circuit and it’s a disgrace and I’m going to put in a major complaint, because you cannot win if you’re us, a case in the 9th Circuit,” he told reporters in November of last year.
Because the 9th Circuit covers much of the Western U.S. it hears a lot of cases about public lands and endangered species. It’s currently considering Juliana vs. United States, the case where kids are suing the federal government for failing to act to combat climate change. The 9th Circuit recently rejected challenges to a 2012 Department of Interior decision to withdraw, for up to 20 years, over one million acres of land near Grand Canyon National Park from new uranium mining claims.
The League of Conservation Voters is launching a campaign to fight for neutral judicial nominees on that court.
“It’s so important that that court remains fair and objective and has qualified judges sitting on it who make decisions that impact our clean air and clean water,” says Ben Driscoll, Judiciary Program Director with the nonprofit.
President Trump has nominees for four out of the five vacant judges seats. Those nominees still have to go before the Senate before being confirmed.
Find reporter Amanda Peacher on Twitter @amandapeacher.
Copyright 2019 Boise State Public Radio
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.