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January 9, 2015

Supreme Court to Review Delta Smelt Appeals Cases

On Friday, U.S. Supreme Court justices will meet to consider several pending appeals, including two that focus on the California water dispute; one from a coalition of water agencies and the second from Central Valley growers.  According to the LA Times, lawyers for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, who cite issues raised by the drought, “are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider a strict federal rule from the 1970s that calls for curtailing the water diversions to protect the threatened delta smelt and other imperiled species regardless of the cost to humans and the economy.”

The court agrees to hear only about 1 percent of the cases that are appealed, but these water cases could prove to be crucial tests of the Endangered Species Act. They are the State Water Contractors vs. Jewel and Stewart & Jaspar Orchards vs. Jewell.

Western Growers signed onto an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief  in support of the petition for writ of certiorari as it did in the appellate proceedings.